Frank Herbert's Dune Messiah and Heroism
Frank Herbert's Dune Messiah maybe one of the hated books inside the science fiction genre. Now this had peaked my interest whether it is season 8 of game of thrones or star wars sequel trilogy. There is no shortage of media which divides fans and after finishing the masterwork of fiction which is Frank Herbert's Dune. I had to go and read the decisive sequel. To my surprise i loved it the book may have been one of the best book I've ever read. This novel subverts the readers expectations and shoves a scary reality onto the reader all of this centers around the character of Paul Maud'Dib.
( spoilers of Dune and Dune Messiah Ahead )
For those who have not read dune i will give a quick summary of both novels. The first novel is set in a future where humanity has not progressed into some utopia which is seen in the depictions of humanity in star trek. Humanity is not the beacon of progress and technological advancement. After a war with AI humanity has fallen back into a feudal state with a emperor at the top. the events of Dune follow house Atreides a noble family which has just been granted stewardship of the planet of Arrakis which produces a important drug called spice which is used by navigators to navigate ships through space without it humanity would be lost to the stars Paul a character who can best be described as a depictions of Frederick Neichze übermensch (superman). throughout the course of the novel the peoples of the desert the Freman see Paul as a religious leader who will lead them on a jihad of the galaxy. Paul tries to fight his fate to become the leader of a jihad and uses the legions of Freman to over throw the emperor. At the end of the first novel Paul or Maud'Dib becomes the new emperor we get to Paul's reign in the second book. This novel is about the old guard of the former emperor and Paul locked into a deadly game of intrigue this is were we get to the central message of the novel which is that you need to be weary of charismatic leaders (Hero's) and that giving them power is dangerous.
We need to keep in mind that this was written after the second world war which saw this thesis put into action ( Hitler and Stalin come to mind ). the hate this novel gets is because of the realization of the first novel is put into practice her with Paul who is the hero of the first novel ideas realized we can see what Herbert is trying to express. Now even with that being said the idea of a Paul Maud'Dib in our modern age seems crazy. The problem i have with the thesis is a society must have heroes for them to be-given power. Herbert cannot be blamed for coming unto this concussion for he was in the early stages of the victory of Liberal democracy seen by the end of the First World War and the defeat of the Soviet Union. American has a empire with no heroes. Only societies like which are depicted in Dune and Star Wars can have heroes. Theses fiction stories try and make heroism into a product a escape from the modern day. This book has helped complete a summer of reading into the world of the Classics. Figures such as Alexander the Great who's at 20 conquered the entire world a truly great man. His body was seen to crowds of people crying from India to Greece was celebrated by his people. I cannot think of one leader inside the United States which could do the same thing one side would be happy, while the other sadden. History is thought to be always progressing well the question is for modern man is what are we progressing to. Theses ideas have been bumping around in my head for a long time with the studies I've done this summer. This will be a formal introduction to the ideas i plan on using the books to discusses this year. More posts to come