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English 279- Science Fiction and Futuristic Literature
English 279- Science Fiction and Futuristic Literature

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Published by: Andrew Kimo Quirino Galloway on May 31, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Andrew GallowayEnglish 279S. Covell27 February 2006
EssayThe Way of the MouseDuring the course of the novel, Paul-Muad’dib Atreides matures and transformsthrough experiences few would care to partake in. Young in age, yet far beyond his years inwisdom and maturity, Paul is a superhuman bred for incomparable greatness and thus was born into the universe ready for every trial thrown at him in his lifetime. Through everyordeal and hardship he endures, he completes another step of his transformation into theKwisatz Haderach, the one intended to ensure the survival of the human race, the savior of mankind.A short while before leaving for Arrakis, Paul is confronted by the ReverendMother Gaius Helen Mohiam. She commands Paul to place his right hand inside of a small box and says: “A duke’s son must know about poisons. . . . Here’s a new one for you: thegom jabbar. It kills only animals” (Herbert 8). “Animals”, for this intent and purpose, refersto a being that reacts only to instinct and basic emotions, as opposed to a “human,” onewho utilizes logic and self-awareness to override instinct. Paul recognizes the basicemotion of fear, and uses a Bene Gesserit mantra to countermand his instinct to withdrawhis hand from the box:I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that bringstotal obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me andGalloway 1
through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain(Herbert 8).Paul is able to withstand the fierce onslaught of excruciating pain that the box produces, proving him to be human in the Reverend Mother’s eyes, and ultimately, the potentialKwisatz Haderach.When the Atreides leave Caladan for the desert planet Arrakis, Paul is well awarethat life on their new home will pose many difficulties and hardships. Nevertheless, he is profoundly altered from the person he was by the trials he endures on Dune.Intense and prolonged exposure of mélange stimulates a strong precognitive sense inPaul. Combined with his Bene Gesserit influenced genetic heritage and his lifelong BeneGesserit and mentat training, the spice also provides Paul with a sense of awarenessheightened above and beyond any human before him. As Paul and his mother, the LadyJessica, wait concealed in the stilltent after the raid on Arakeen, Paul’s capabilities becomeshockingly apparent, the suddenness of which frightens his mother, a Bene Gesserit herself.Though Jessica’s own Bene Gesserit training provides her with reasoning powers far greater than normal women her age, Paul’s ability to reason the truths of his universesurpasses her own on a level even the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam could notmatch.When Jessica realizes the truth behind Dr. Yueh’s betrayal, Paul thinks to himself,
She is only now seeing it and that poorly
.” “The thought was a shock. He had known thisfact as a by-the-way thing” (Herbert 188). Moments later, after discussing the chances of the survival of the Atreides Clan:Galloway 2
Jessica turned away, frightened of the bitter strength in her son’s voice,hearing the precise assessment of chances. She sensed that his mind hadleaped ahead of her, that it now saw more in some respects than she did. Shehad helped train the intelligence which did this, but now she found herself fearful of it (Herbert 190).In her eyes, her son had become the very thing that the Bene Gesserit had beenstriving for, the “shortening of the way,” the Kwisatz Haderach. Paul however, saw thingsdifferently. “As though he saw inside her mind, Paul said: ‘[The Bene Gesserit] thoughtthey were reaching for me. But I’m not what they expected, and I’ve arrived before mytime. And
don’t know it’.” He spoke to Jessica, “You're thinking I’m the KwisatzHaderach. Put that out of your mind. I’m something unexpected” (Herbert 198). Everyaspect of the Bene Gesserit plan was revealed to Paul, even the unintended consequences bred from the actions of the Bene Gesserit.As Paul struggled with the foresight of an unstoppable future of bloody war in hisname:He found that he no longer could hate the Bene Gesserit or the Emperor or even the Harkonnens. They were all caught up in the need of their race torenew its scattered inheritance, to cross and mingle and infuse thei bloodlines in a great new pooling of genes. And the race knew only one sureway for this—the ancient way . . . jihad (Herbert 199).In addition to his ability to see the possible futures, Paul has something more. “I haveanother kind of sight. I see another kind of terrain: the available paths” (Herbert 194). Thegreat concern now is to take every action possible to prevent the jihad that plagues hisGalloway 3

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