Book: “Children of Dune”
Author: Frank Herbert
Series: Dune Book 3
First published April 1, 1976
At the end of Dune Messiah, Paul retreats into the wilderness, as all Fremen traditionally do. Muad’Dib is dead, as is his wife, Chani. They leave behind two children, Leto and Ghanima, who, awakened in the womb, possess Paul’s gift. Even the title hints at the main theme of the plot. We follow the challenges and choices that the children of Dune make to continue what they started.
Muad’Dib is transformed into a deity. Throughout the empire, his religion gains strength. The Fremen have become fanatical legions sowing death in the name of their prophet. Everything that Paul sought to prevent and abhorred has become a reality. A new mysterious preacher appears on the scene, clearly pointing out the wickedness of the current system. A blind man who publicly denounces the rule of Alia, the sister of Muad’Dib. Many suspect that the preacher is Paul, who has returned alive from the desert, but why has he turned against his own kind?
Atreides – Children of Dune
The Atreides on the lion throne. Leto and Ghanima are in the care of their aunt Alia and Paul’s wife, Irulan. The twins carry on the ancestral memory of all their ancestors. The memories of thousands of lives are preserved in them. We must come to terms with the meaning of ancestral memory. In Dune, we saw Alia as an adult in the body of a child. Ghanima and Leto also possess the minds and wisdom of those who lived before them, and like their aunt, must contend with the voices of their ancestors. This gift is also a curse, because there is a danger that the body will be possessed by an “evil spirit”. This is exactly what the followers of Bene Gesserit fear. They call the possessed “witches”
Years of careful planning and single-mindedness by the Fremen to turn Arakis into a paradise are finally bearing fruit. The water regime is no longer so strict. Nagging at moisture suits is no longer punishable by death. Green and flowing water appears amidst the deserts of Dune. A very interesting conflict occurs here that raises many questions that I think are still relevant today. For centuries, the Fremen have been trying to turn the planet into a paradise, firmly believing that this will improve their lives. But it turns out that this very change will have disastrous consequences for Dune and the Fremen. The problem of climate change caused by human activity is addressed. What is missing is a clear assessment of the consequences of human actions. A trait that is perhaps typical of humanity.
Children of Dune
The book follows the fate of Paul Atreides’ children. However, the plot also deals with the changes that have occurred for the new generations of Fremen. We are confronted with the clash of tradition and progress. The quiet life of the population leads to carelessness. The superiority of the native population and how these supermen were created was explained to us in great detail in Dune. There we were introduced to the theory that it was the harsh climate of Arakis and Salusa e Secundus that caused the terrible wars. But now the Fremen are losing their planet. Any change in the climate means danger to their god Shai-hulud. The sandworms, which are the reason for Arakis’ power, are becoming rarer and rarer.
Edinson Leto recognizes the threat to Arakis and decides on the necessary step to save humanity. The system must be brought out of the impasse in which it finds itself. The religion of Muad’dib must be destroyed and the empire overthrown. The spice monopoly must be eliminated and all the stocks that manipulate prices must be issued. Lito clearly sees the path ahead and what it will cost him to change the world. The “Golden Path” will cost him everything he has inside. Together, he and Ghanima will face the double threat that awaits humanity. Once again they will face the mortal enemy of the Atreides, the “reborn” Baron Harkonnen and the dethroned Corrino dynasty. Nothing is over once Paul ascends the throne and retreats into the wilderness.
The book raises a lot of moral questions. It is written at a fairly high level and uses a lot of terminology. I have to admit that it was a challenge to read it. I do not think the Dune series is for everyone. It is certainly not an easy read. But Frank Herbert has a gift for making you think. Between the pages of his books you are constantly confronted with contradictions and trying to find the right path yourself. His grips are tantamount to deliberate “psychological” manipulation. It is absolutely understandable why the Dune series, although written in 1965, is still a hit today.
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