The structures of everyday life are embodied in patterns that align with an internal concept of the mythic. The extent to which all societies are guided by some sense of the mythic is proportional to a culture's dependence on language, religion, or historical foundation; for these structures that create culture bind it in a shared narrative. In the words of Thomas Mann, "The myth is the foundation of life; it is the timeless schema, the pious formula into which life flows when it reproduces its traits out of the unconscious." (Mann, 30). By picking up a work of fantasy or science fiction, a reader is immersing himself in a world in which the myth is made explicit, where the characters are living out hero's journeys made epic or internal. Frank Herbert's Dune, depicts characters that consciously embody the myths of their world, thereby molding their own hero's journeys along with the society that empowered them with the mythic roles.
[...] Similarly, inhabiting a role of spiritual liberator in a myth that her own organization implanted would seem to doubly repress the Fremen through an outside narrative and false prophet. Yet the myth that the Fremen are associating with Jessica and Paul is not a standard formula taught to all Bene Gesserit by the Missionaria Protectiva. Jessica does not know the nature of her role; she plays into the ritual test with Mapes in order to figure out what legend the Missionaria implanted. [...]
[...] When Jessica is confronted by the Shadout Mapes, she discerns that the prophecy, which is guiding the people of Arrakis to potentially rally behind the Atreides, is an evolution of a Bene Gesserit myth implanted to protect members of their order. Jessica later thinks to herself, our Missionaria Protectiva even planted religious safety valves all through this hell hole . She must've been good, that Bene Gesserit of the Missionaria Protectiva. These Fremen are beautifully prepared to believe in (Herbert, 284). [...]
[...] Paul's visions help him to realize the Fremen potential to revitalize the ecology and politics of the planet, under the guidance of a prophesied Liberator. Although Paul is aware for some time that he will embody the figure of Muad'Dib, he does not officially enter his performance until facing the challenge of the Fremen Jamis. The first ritual of his mythic identity is actually a test of his mother's veracity as Sayyadina. Jamis challenges both Jessica and Paul with the ‘amtal rule,' declaring, must be championed. [...]
[...] While Paul has inhabited the role of Muad'Dib, his hesitancy in committing to full myth (portrayed by his own prescience) has brought the Fremen to near turmoil in mixed idolization and anticipation of his political and religious leadership. Paul is aware that his mother is “fearful of the religious relationship between himself and the Fremen. She didn't like the fact that people of both sietch and graben referred to Muad'Dib as Him.” (Herbert, 382). Jessica fears the combination of politics and religion because of the way it commands and impassions the people, usually ending in a violent death for the prophet- leader. [...]
[...] The power of the myth lies in the performances that transform the symbols into reality. Jessica and Paul gain power through enacting the roles that the Fremen social structure provides them. In their performances the line between their doubled, exterior and ‘true' selves becomes blurred through the belief in, and efficacious proof of their actions. By internalizing their prophesied identities, the characters gain the influence of their social status, and as living agents are also constantly redefining the mythic structures. [...]
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