Trident Media Group
Trident Media Group asked Brian Herbert:

Why do you think Dune has become not only the world’s most famous science-fiction novel, but also a classic of the environmental movement?

Brian Herbert There are many reasons for this, as I wrote in DREAMER OF DUNE, my biography of Frank Herbert. I will touch on only a few of them here:
- There are numerous aspects of the novel DUNE that are familiar to readers on a subconscious level, making it easier for them to get into the novel. For the names of heroes and some of the planets, Frank Herbert selected from Greek mythology and other mythological bases.
- DUNE is a modern-day amalgamation of familiar myths. The characters fit classical archetypes from mythology— Paul Atreides is the hero prince on a quest, as described by Joseph Campbell and others. The great sandworms bear similarities with the Pearl of Great Price myth in the Bible, which is linked to mythological stories of protected treasure, such as the golden fleece of the sacred ram sacrificed by Zeus, or dragons guarding the treasure in the cave in Beowulf. There are also parallels between the story of Paul Atreides – a nobleman who leads the Fremen desert people against western civilization – and the real-life story of T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), a British officer who led desert tribes against the Turks. In both cases, the outsider becomes a messiah figure to his followers.
- By the early 1970s, Frank Herbert was riding the crest of a huge environmental movement, giving lectures to university crowds all over the U.S. He spoke to 30,000 people in Philadelphia at the first earth day in 1970, and the Whole Earth Catalog referred to DUNE as a revolutionary ecological handbook couched in a “rich and re-readable fantasy.”

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