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I guess Dune must have been influenced by world history


HarryCanyon
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Since Herbert has researched history and wars with that kind of thing, i bet he was influenced by these historical events:

Caligula's reign for Baron Harkonnen and Geidi Prime disguised as Rome.

Lawrence of Arabia for the whole story.

The story of Pocahontas for Chani and Paul's interracial love story including wars of two races

Any more references to world history in Dune?

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The entire history of psychology, sociology, political science, biology, physics, psychopharmacology, feminism, and... well... history as academic subjects.

Seriously, undergrads should be forced to read and interpret Dune in terms of science and popular culture of the 1970's.

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Since Herbert has researched history and wars with that kind of thing, i bet he was influenced by these historical events:

Caligula's reign for Baron Harkonnen and Geidi Prime disguised as Rome.

Lawrence of Arabia for the whole story.

The story of Pocahontas for Chani and Paul's interracial love story including wars of two races

Any more references to world history in Dune?

Pocahontas?

You didn't mention Iraq=Arrak-is. The Muslim world waiting for the 13th Imam, the Mahdi. Saddam = Shaddam.

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Well yes there are similarities to the Pocahontas story since the Atreides and Harkonnens are settlers as Paul is basically John Smith and the Freman are the Indians as Harkonnens including the Baron consider Freman to be savages. Chani is basically like Pocahontas as Paul is a white man and Chani is a different race of person as they share an interracial love yet their cheifs of fathers don't understand them.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Pocahontas?

You didn't mention Iraq=Arrak-is. The Muslim world waiting for the 13th Imam, the Mahdi. Saddam = Shaddam.

Michael D Sharp seems to agree with you in his book titled, Popular Contemporary Writers.

On page 751 he writes,

“. . . “Arrakis” deliberately reminds the reader of Iraq, a desert region that holds the oil reserves that the whole word needs. . . The name Shaddam closely resembles Saddam (Saddam Hussein in 1958 was a known assassin for the Iraqi Baath Party) . .

FH also directly states his influences in the following quote. . .

In studying sand dunes, you immediately get into not just Arabian mystique but the Navaho mystique and the mystique of the Kalahari primitives and all […] I [found through research] fresh nuances, things in religions, in psychoanalytic theories, in linguistics, economics, philosophy, in theories of history, geology, anthropology, plant research, soil chemistry, in the metalanguages or pheromones. A new field of study rises out of this like a spirit rising from a witch’s caldron: the psychology of planetary societies […] Now we have stories with which we go on after we finish reading them. I deliberately did this with Dune. . .

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Arnoldo,

When Dune was published I don't think Saddam had much if any recognition. If I remember correctly he did not become prominent until the late 60s, after he got out of prison, and after Dune was published. He was certainly nothing you would base a character like Shaddam after, and the character Shaddam was long gone by the time Saddam began to look anything like a ruler. I also do not see the support in the quote you posted from Frank for the claims of the person in the book.

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What Lord J said pretty much.

It definitely has influences, since the cultures in Dune derive from cultures from ancient earth. They have evolved to such an extant that it is hard to truly separate and designate which cultures truly came from which. It is a mish mash, really. Lots of allusions to his day and age, not to mention the fact that you can read and feel how dated his concepts are throughout.

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Whatever the real origins of and/or influences on Shaddam's name, Dune sure has a much, much greater depth than drawing parallels with the contemporary world in which it was written. FH read a tremendous lot of different books and papers, covering an immense range of subjects, and he did a lot of focused research in many different areas too. The way he blends it all in the books and masterfully uses all of that background as the material for his fiction, and keeps it on a high literary level, is just amazing.

All of which is meant to say, trying to find straightforward parallels like the one discussed above is rather inappropriate in respect to the scale and depth of the books.

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