Study Guide

Stranger in a Strange Land Chapter 32

By Robert A. Heinlein

Chapter 32

  • Still at the church, Ben wakes up and has a second rendezvous with Dawn. After waking again, he heads to the kitchen to find Duke preparing breakfast. 
  • Duke is in the ninth circle but also works as maintenance man, health inspector, and fire deputy so no outsiders have to enter the sanctuary of the inner circle. Makes sense, we guess.
  • Duke informs Ben that Ben is First-Called—that means he's one of Mike's first water brothers. Apparently a water sharing is planned in Ben's honor that evening. Duke only hints at what a crazy party it's going to be.
  • Next, Ben meets Ruth. She tells him the story of how she and her husband came to be inner circle members. 
  • Here it is for you: her husband was a linguist by trade and wanted to learn the Martian language. Mike has a bit of an academic monopoly on said knowledge, so he and Ruth joined the church. They learned the language and began seeing the world through a Martian view, enriching their lives and saving their relationship.
  • Next on the docket: Ben brings Jill her breakfast. They talk, and Jill wonders if Ben's jealousy is gone.
  • When Mike joins them, He draws Jill and Ben close and gets really love-dovey and handsy with Jill, much to Ben's unease. 
  • Mike suggests that maybe Ben isn't ready for the water sharing, but Jill insists he is.
  • Jill kisses Ben to keep him from worrying, and it works. That is, until Mike whisks his clothes off.