In addition to the answers to questions about the third section of the classic science fiction novel-Dune-I decided to include images of some of the covers you do not normally see for the book. The Analog cover for "The Prophet of Dune" count. This was the second half of the magazine serialization of the novel.
On Monday, I will be posting a look back at the group read and my overall review of the book.
To read the answers of other members of the group read click here Stainless Steel Droppings.
1. What was your reaction to finally learning the identity of Princess Irulan? Do you think that her convention added to the story? I was very surprised the first time I read this book back in the 1970s. The excerpts from her writings were helpful at filling in information that you might miss out on. It is interesting to see how the survivors look back at their leaders after a war. If the Emperor had managed to stop Paul, the histories by Princess Irulan would have revealed a drastically different story.
2. Where you satisfied with the ending? I liked the ending. Herbert had to have Paul succeed after the epic battle. I thought it was an interesting twist that Paul could not see his death in his visions of the possible futures. Because of this vision blindness, the reader was not sure if Paul would survive the end of the book. It was obvious that Paul's plans would succeed whether or not he lived. It reminds me of the account in the Bible where the disciple Paul was threatened with death for preaching his message. He said if he died, he would get to go live with his savior. If they left him live, he would continue to preach. Either option was a victory. Paul Atreides plans would be implemented either way. So in this respect, and in addition to having the same name, this paralleled the disciple Paul.
3. On both Arrakis and Salusa Secundus, ecology plays a major role in shaping both characters and the story itself. Was this convincing? Do you think that Paul would have gone through with his threat to destroy the spice, knowing what it would mean for Arrakis? I think that the ecology and it's effect on the natives was one of the best developed parts of the background. Herbert convinced me. If necessary Paul would have destroyed the spice. I believe that he would have kept a secret source in the heart of the desert that only the Fremen could access. I also think that he knew the Guild would never risk the loss of the spice. Paul was very safe in threatening to destroy the spice.
4. Both Leto and Paul made their decisions on marriage for political reasons. Do you agree with their choices? As a reader, you want to see the Paul and Chani get married. At different times it seemed that you wanted Jessica to marry Leto. Unfortunately, royalty does not always have this option. At least in the world of "Dune", the concubine seemed like the actual wife while the wife was just a political pawn. Paul had to marry Irulan to be able to lay claim to the throne and take control of the Great Houses. While I might not agree with their choices, Paul and Leto made the only realistic choices available to them.
5. What was your favorite part in this section of the book? This is possibly the hardest question to answer. I will go with the action spectacular answer. I favorite, at this time, was the section where the Fremen stormed the Emperor's stronghold on the backs of the worms. It is always fun to see the over-cocky Sardaukar realize that they are hopelessly overmatched. It is similar to the end of "Star Wars" when the Death Star is taken down.
6. One of the things I noticed in the discussions last week was Herbert's use of the word "jihad". What do you think of Herbert's message about religion and politics? Not everyone will agree with me but I thought Herbert created the best blending of political intrigue, religion, ecology, and classic hero myth possible. This is one of the very few novels that was considered a classic when it first appeared and is still on the classic list 51 years later. The addition of the religious aspect gave greater depth to what could have a traditional science fiction adventure novel.