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Literature Study GuidesDuneBook 3 Sections 42 43 Summary

Dune | Study Guide

Frank Herbert

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Dune | Book 3, Sections 42–43 : The Prophet | Summary



Book 3, Section 42

Using the maker hooks Paul successfully rides a sandworm. After a brief ride alone he is joined by the other men. They ride the worm, though Stilgar gives Paul a critique of his sandriding technique. Paul decides he wants to ride the sandworm to the new sietch in the south, where the women and children have been sent for safety. Stilgar mentally prepares himself for Paul's challenge. As they debate where to ride next, however, they hear smuggler aircraft, so they quickly dismount and hide. Paul and Stilgar decide to "bait a patch of sand [with spice] and catch us some smugglers."

Book 3, Section 43

The smugglers who fall into the trap are led by Gurney Halleck. When the Fremen confront them, Halleck is shocked to find Paul in charge. He is also quite surprised Paul is the mysterious Muad'Dib he has heard about. But this doesn't stop him from joining his duke. They immediately begin discussing how best to bring down the Harkonnens.

Some of the smugglers are actually undercover Sardaukar, and they mount an attack. But they are quickly either killed or captured. Paul reveals both his names to the Sardaukar captain and sends him back to the Harkonnens, hoping to draw them out. Then he reassures Stilgar he has a plan to take authority without needing to kill an important asset and friend.


Section 42 shows Paul's successful ride on the sandworm and his acceptance among the Fremen men as one of their own. Although he has been living among them for two years and has a child with the Fremen woman Chani, Fremen culture is strict. It requires this ritualized coming-of-age test for full initiation into the community.

Section 43 provides a satisfying revelation as Paul's old mentor Gurney Halleck gets the surprise of his life. But it also brings Paul's former life and his role as duke into the same space as his new life as a Fremen. That this meeting of the worlds takes place directly after Paul's full acceptance as Fremen is dramatic. Stilgar and Halleck fill similar roles in Paul's life as mentors and teachers, making the conflict between Paul's two worlds more personal. As Paul reconciles his dual roles as nobility of one of the Great Houses and messiah to the Fremen, he must bring these two men together to fight on the same team. House Atreides and the Fremen of Arrakis will need to become unified under Paul's leadership.

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