Dune can be described as a science fiction story that includes relatable aspects. It setting is in the year 10, 191 whereby human beings have expanded or rather extended their domination to other planets. It can be perceived that Frank Herbert presents a unique notion of the future when compared to other science fiction authors. The author highly integrates the theme of religion in the text especially when it comes to issues associated with authority. It is important to note that religion focuses on the beliefs of individuals in regards to a particular deity. The universe which is depicted by Herbert includes a feudal system of government that puts into view barons and dukes whereby religion appears to have a significant presence in the lives of the humans including political life.
It can be perceived that the most significant symbol of religion in the story is the Bene Gesserit. The group appears to be well-acquainted with the copious religious literature including the cryptic texts and the Orange Catholic Bible. The texts appear to occupy a significant position on how the Bene Gesseret understand the universe. A good example is a statement, It's a very old Orange Catholic Bible made for space travelers. Not a filmbook, but actually printed on filament paper. It has its own magnifier and electrostatic charge system, (Herbert). According to the Missionaria Protectiva, the Bene Gesserit tend to often study religion to protect the members of their group. The group employs the Missionaria Protectiva to extend the made-up prophesies and legends in various new worlds. It is also perceived that the group may alter the legends for it to acquire respect from the original inhabitants who align with the legends. A good example from the text is the statement, With the Lady Jessica and Arrakis, the Bene Gesserit system of sowing implant- legends through the Missionaria Protectiva came to its full fruition. The wisdom of seeding the known universe with a prophecy pattern for the protection of B.G. personnel has long been appreciated, but never have we seen a condition-ut-extremis with more ideal mating of person and preparation, (Herbert).
The control subjected to the Fremen can also be perceived as a symbol of religion in the text. The author depicts Kynes father as the first individual to study and use religion as a strategy of winning the Fremen to support his ambition. His ambition, in this case, is to transform Arrakis to a green world from being a dry planet. Both the father and son view religion as a tool for restoring paradise to Arrakis. Nonetheless, despite Kynes having the desire to make Arrakis green, his ambitions tend to contradict with nature as Arrakis is dry by its nature. A good example is Paul recalling the words by Hawat in which the author states, When you live upon Arrakis," she had said, "khala, the land is empty. The moons will be your friends, the sun your enemy, (Herbert). In other words, Arrakis was a hopeless world where change would not occur. Nonetheless, Kynes and his father thought it wise to use religion as a way of reconstructing Arrakis. Kynes states, Religion and law among our masses must be one and the same, his father said. An act of disobedience must be a sin and require religious penalties, (Herbert).
It can also be perceived that the author uses religion throughout the text whereby it acts as the instrument of power and wellbeing. Paul, who has similar ambitions as Kynes, employs his religious position to control the Fremen whereby he positions himself as their Messiah for him to have control over the whole region. The author depicts Paul to contain mystical powers which supersede any form of intelligence or knowledge. The author states, He felt the hyper-illumination anew with its high-relief imagery of time, sensed his future becoming memoriesthe tender indignities of physical love, the sharing and communion of selves, the softness and the violence, (Herbert). The experience takes place when Paul takes the Melange, a drug, which transforms him. Nonetheless, his antiques in manipulating religion are what provides him with the most advantage. His ability to play with religion and the piratical utilization of legends which were created by the Bene Gesserit enable him to occupy the Emperor position. A good example is Pauls assertion during his conversation with Kynes whereby he states, Perhaps, Paul agreed. Yet perhaps not. Superstitions sometimes have strange roots and stranger branchings, (Herbert). According to the context of the statement, Paul is manipulating Kynes to view superstitions as reality as per the religious perspective.
As stated earlier, the universe which is depicted by Herbert includes a feudal system of government that puts into view barons and dukes whereby religion appears to have a significant presence in the lives of the humans including political life. Religion is depicted using the Bene Gesserit, the control subjected to the Fremen, and that the author uses religion throughout the text whereby it acts as the instrument of power and wellbeing. The concept of religion in the text makes Frank Herbert present a different notion of the future when compared to other science fiction authors.
Herbert, Frank. Dune. New York: Analog Magazine, 1965. Print.
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