Study Guide

Dune Book III, Chapter 40

By Frank Herbert

Book III, Chapter 40

  • As with so many chapters before, we begin with a character waking up. Only this time, Paul wakes up in a place outside of time and space.
  • Paul remembers that Chani is in the south with his son, Leto II. But in his mind he's reliving a memory when Chani killed one of his many challengers. Why? She felt he shouldn't be bothered from his meditations. What a woman.
  • Paul wonders if his spirit has fallen into alam al-mithal, "the world of similitudes, that metaphysical realm where all physical limitations were removed" (40.33). That spice meal sure did a number on him.
  • Paul slips into another memory. He's talking with his mother about religion and politics and how he must use both delicately.
  • Finally, Paul wakes up for reals. He's lying next to Chani. She was supposed to be in the south, but she came to observe him take his test.
  • Paul's going to ride a maker, a worm. Yep, you read that right: he's going to ride a worm. And you thought getting your driver's license was nerve-wracking.
  • Paul asks Chani what the sitch is at the sietch in the south. Yep, we totally just did that. And you loved it. Chani says he'll see when he finally rides the maker. There are hints about Alia's strangeness.
  • Stilgar approaches Paul and gives the guy some hints on how to best approach the worm with the maker hooks.
  • A Fremen named Shishakli gives Paul his hooks, which have never failed. Then again, there is a first time for everything.
  • Paul plants a thumper in the sand and waits. Eventually, he sees the sand trail signaling a worm's approach. It's heading in his direction.