Fear is the Mind-Killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn to see fear’s path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. “Paul, DUNE by Frank Herbert
This is a saying used by those following the ways of the Bene Gesserit. “Fear is the Mind-Killer.”, is an often used quote in Dune. I believe this shows how religion is interpreted in this series. There is a lot of emphasis about a religious leader not only being able to have absolute control over their own mind but the minds of others as well. This is most often associated with using a specific tone of voice with the spoken words to create the wanted outcome.
Religion is a major theme in this first book to the series but so is the Ecology of the planet. Arrakis is a planet of sand, with little water and an abundance of the cinnamon smelling Spice. At first the desert lands seem a scary unknown place, but the reader will soon learn the ways of living in this land. Sandworms are something to be feared initially as well, but they can also be used advantageously. The reader will find it is not impossible to harness “Desert Power “.
WATER!” She snapped, “Everywhere you turn here, you’re involved in the lack of water!”Jessica, DUNE by Frank Herbert
Water, or the lack of, is the other major theme. Frank Herbert came up with some creative ways to deal with this. The Fremen, a desert tribe of millions, use stillsuits to preserve all the water their bodies create. ALL OF IT. As mentioned in the book, this doesn’t produce a great smell! Not surprising, but although it may not be the most enjoyable of things, it is the perfect solution to a huge problem.
The Spice, melange, is a very controlling force on this planet. It changes the physical appearance of a person, creates an addiction that makes going off planet almost impossible and is most interestingly, used in religious rites as a drug that allows the user to enter a trance like state and truly experience another form of sight.
This book was so much fun to read. There are entertaining fight sequences that lead up to an ultimate fight scene at the end, and learning the way of the Bene Gesserit is incredibly interesting. There is as much physical action as there is psychological, which makes for an intriguing start to the series and something I’m looking forward to learning more about as I continue with Dune Messiah.
I hope you enjoyed a look into Arrakis and will follow my blog to continue this journey into the Dune series by Frank Herbert.