Study Guide

Dune Book III, Chapter 41

By Frank Herbert

Book III, Chapter 41

  • Jessica thinks Paul should be taking his test any minute now.
  • While Jessica's at the thinking business, she considers the new sietch, the Harkonnen raids, and even the baby being born that will require her blessing—anything to keep her mind off Paul's current predicament.
  • A cup of coffee is presented to Jessica to celebrate the baby's birth. Jessica drinks it and enjoys the fact that she doesn't need to worry about being poisoned here. The Fremen life has its perks.
  • Harah and Alia enter. Harah's a little miffed at Alia. It seems she snuck into the delivery room and watched the baby being born. When she came over to touch the baby, it stopped crying. This kind of stuff upsets the other Fremen, but we wish we knew anyone with that kind of power.
  • Harah mentions that it's not Alia's personality that people find "off" but the way she says things, the way she understands adult jokes, and the way she moves with such adult precision.
  • Jessica explains. When Jessica drank the Water of Life, she accidently passed on her memories and Bene Gesserit training to currently-in-the-womb Alia. As a result, Alia pretends to be a little girl because of her body, but her mind has never been young.
  • This means the tribe technically has two Reverend Mothers, Jessica and her daughter. Wonder if that means you have to buy two cards for Reverend Mother's Day?
  • Tharthar, one of Stilgar's wives, enters. She wants to talk to Jessica about Paul's test. Should he pass the test, the men of the sietch will want Paul to challenge and kill Stilgar for leadership. If he doesn't, then they'll say he's a wuss.
  • Alia suggests that she go with Tharthat and talk to the men to see if there is a way around the situation.
  • Jessica and Harah both agree that Stilgar's death will serve neither the tribe nor Harah, as she is going to become one of Stilgar's wives.
  • To make sure there is no confusion, Harah points out that there is not jealousy on her part. Chani is best for Paul, because Chani wants what is best for him. Jessica agrees but worries for Chani's happiness, since Paul will have to marry into nobility.