Study Guide

Dune Book II, Chapter 32

By Frank Herbert

Book II, Chapter 32

  • The group arrives at the Cave of Ridges at dawn. Stilgar orders Chani to see to Paul while he takes Jessica on a tour de sietch.
  • Jessica wonders if she compromised Stilgar's leadership by besting him in combat. He says she hasn't, as no one could have defended against the weirding ways. His man-pride might be a bit bruised though.
  • Still, there are those amongst Stilgar's people who wonder if Jessica will call him out. Stilgar advises against this. Jessica doesn't know the ways of the desert and will not be followed even if she wins. Or, to put it another way: he'd rather she didn't beat him up for reals this time.
  • Stilgar also confirms Paul's suspicions. The Fremen are bribing the Spacing Guild with spice to keep their airspace free of those pesky spy satellites.
  • Jessica contemplates her place amongst the Fremen. Will she have to marry Stilgar to prevent a conflict of leadership? If so, then what of Paul and her as-yet unborn daughter?
  • Stilgar sees the questions in her mind and offers an alternative: Sayyadina, the position of Reverend Mother.
  • From his talk of leadership, Jessica understands she has underestimated Stilgar's wisdom.
  • Jessica probes deeper into the Reverend Mother job offer. Stilgar tells her it is a position of honor where one teaches and "maintain[s] the strength of God" (32.73). How exactly does one prepare a résumé for a job like that?
  • Jessica knows Stilgar is still looking for a sign when adab—"the demanding memory that comes upon you of itself" (32.84)—takes hold of her.
  • Jessica recites a litany, and the Fremen respond.
  • Stilgar believes Jessica may pass within as their Reverend Mother. Jessica knows that the Missionaria Protectiva of the Bene Gesserit will see her through.
  • Meanwhile, Paul eats the food prepared by Chani. The huge concentration of spice in the dish brings on "the spice change" (32.95). His mind is pushed into a new state of awareness. Wow, that must be some tasty grub.
  • An influx of data hits Paul. He sees the future, but he also sees the error in his vision. It's as if even the slightest change from a cough to a wink to a careless word will set the future on a different path. In short, he sees possibilities with varying degrees of certainty… assuming that makes any sense at all.
  • Oh, the Science-y Facts: Paul compares his new found prescient ability to the Heisenberg indeterminacy, also known as the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (32.105). But what's that? Say you where trying to measure a light wave. The Heisenberg uncertainty states we can measure where that wave is or where it is going but not both. The reason is that to measure where a wave is, we have to disturb its momentum, so we can no longer tell where it is going. And if you've got a minute, Henry Reich at "One Minute Physics" has more uncertainty goodness for you here.
  • Paul's final vision is one of him lying dead on the ground, a knife buried in his chest.