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Literature Study GuidesDuneBook 3 Sections 46 47 Summary

Dune | Study Guide

Frank Herbert

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Dune | Book 3, Sections 46–47 : The Prophet | Summary



Book 3, Section 46

The emperor has landed and set up camp. Surveying the emperor's command post, Paul shares his plan with Stilgar and Halleck; he intends to blow up the emperor's shields using atomics. A big sandstorm is blowing in. Paul has his men get their guns trained on the emperor's ships. Paul's forces blow up the shield just as the storm hits, and the gunners fire.

Meanwhile, the Sardaukar have attacked the Fremen, captured Alia, and killed Paul's son.

Book 3, Section 47

The Emperor Shaddam IV, aided by his Truthsayer the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, questions Baron Harkonnen. He asks about Hawat, Rabban, Feyd-Rautha, and finally the mysterious Muad'Dib. The baron says Muad'Dib is "a Fremen fanatic, a religious adventurer." The emperor asks if the baron has been to the southern regions, and when the baron says there's nothing there, Alia is brought in and the battle in which she was captured is described. It is clear the emperor is angry because the Fremen were far more capable and dangerous than the baron reported.

Alia announces she is "daughter of Duke Leto and the Lady Jessica, sister of duke Paul-Muad'Dib." Predictably, the baron is astonished. Meanwhile, the Reverend Mother recognizes Alia is a "child who is not a child" and demands Alia be killed. Suddenly Paul's attack begins and the sandstorm hits. In the resulting chaos Alia kills the baron with a gom jabbar. The emperor's forces retreat and the Reverend Mother sends for Count Fenring.


In these sections, which contain the climax of the novel, Paul Muad'Dib, with his right-hand men Stilgar and Gurney Halleck, leads the Fremen against the emperor and Harkonnens and is victorious. The baron is killed, but not before he is made to look like a fool in front of the emperor and at long last realizes Paul Atreides is alive and that he's been wrong about the Fremen all the time. As frosting on the cake of poetic justice, Alia, an Atreides, is the one to deal the death blow. It is a just end for the baron.

Alia's presence brings an interesting dimension to the theme of politics and religion, because she uses the language of religion to describe a military victory: "Even an emperor may tremble before Muad'Dib, for he has the strength of righteousness and heaven smiles upon him." And Alia herself develops the theme of power and control: she is an element of chaos in the controlled system set up by the Bene Gesserit.

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