Chosing a male child...

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Lundse
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Chosing a male child...

Postby Lundse » 25 Jun 2009 07:10

Someone over at DN actually had an original thought - why didn't Jessica just bear twins? That would have satisfied both the BG (at least more than only having a son) and the Duke!

Possible answers:

  • Jessica could not manipulate her body so as to release two eggs.
  • Not likely. Given what we know she was able to do, it seems odd she should be unable to replicate something which happens spontaneously relatively often.

  • For some reason, she would have had to chose one gender for all the 'eggs in the basket', so to speak.
  • Might be an acceptable explanation, not that into biology... Maybe it carried some risk of failure, or sideeffects?

  • Such twins would have ended up fighting each other or otherwise disastrous for house Atreides.
  • If the daughter was meant to be married to Feud, while there was an Atreides heir, this would probably have spelt trouble. The BG, and Jessica, might have known this would be a certainty.

Thoughts?

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Apjak
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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby Apjak » 25 Jun 2009 08:11

Probably closest to the third would be the best explaination. The second one is "right out" seeing as sperm carry the chromosome that decides sex, although seeign as FH didn't go into the "how" part of choosing gender maybe the BG do it by killing of all of the y chromosome sperm in the uterus at once, but probably irrelevant.

+ A daughter twin wouldn't likely be matched to Feyd if there was already an Atreides heir.

+ Paul probably wouldn't have had any Bene Gesserit training if he had a royal sister in the Bene Gesserit line.

+ Jessica, subconciously or not, was trying to bear the Kwisatz Haderach. Her excuse for doing it for Leto was just that: An Excuse.


Of couse we'll never know now if this was simply an oversight by the Great One FH.
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GamePlayer
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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby GamePlayer » 25 Jun 2009 09:41

Given the care with which the Bene Gesserit breeding system was conducted, I seriously doubt creating twins constantly would work. After all, if it did, then the BG would have every concubine breeding twins, not just Jessica. I'm sure at times breeding twins might be an advantage, but I can see it causing more problems for the BG than solutions. If there is only one child produced for a given union, that limits the breeding/marriage possibilities for that child and that bloodline. Produce too many children and the possibilities for breeding/marriage expand beyond control or usefulness. Hence, controlling the number of children for a given bloodline allows the BG to more easily manipulate them toward the goal of producing the Kwisatz Haderach.

The Bene Gesserit might also perceive problems with dilution. If more than one child is produced from a union, that means the whole of the hereditary bloodline is divided. And since we're never given specifics about just how the genetics/bloodlines are manipulated by the BG, that leaves enough doubt in the process that we assume it would be a detriment to the BG's plans.
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Crysknife
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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby Crysknife » 25 Jun 2009 14:42

I think the answer has to be that she could have but didn't. But any answer could be correct.

Frank did correct this problem later in Messiah.
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Schu
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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby Schu » 25 Jun 2009 21:14

I think we all know the answer to this. It's because she was an emotional woman, and what they do doesn't have to make sense, amirite guys? Guys? </facetiousness>

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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby Eyes High » 25 Jun 2009 21:16

Schu wrote:I think we all know the answer to this. It's because she was an emotional woman, and what they do doesn't have to make sense, amirite guys? Guys? </facetiousness>

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GamePlayer
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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby GamePlayer » 25 Jun 2009 21:23

Schu wrote:I think we all know the answer to this. It's because she was an emotional woman, and what they do doesn't have to make sense, amirite guys? Guys? </facetiousness>


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*ducks and covers*

:)
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Tleszer
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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby Tleszer » 25 Jun 2009 21:39

:lol: Nice pic, GP!
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Nekhrun
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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby Nekhrun » 25 Jun 2009 22:10

Baraka Bryan wrote:lol there was a serious of hillarious test answers at collegehumour.. i think i posted the link a while back, and this one was included.

such a funny series. lol

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cmsahe
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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby cmsahe » 25 Jun 2009 22:28

An excellent idea for the re-invention of Dune, this could be filmed like the new Star Trek!
Only the books written by Frank Herbert are canon.


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GamePlayer
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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby GamePlayer » 25 Jun 2009 22:34

Bring on the lens flare! :)
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trang
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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby trang » 26 Jun 2009 20:27

I think its just straight up face value since its right at the begining of the story. Jessica was deeply in love with Duke Leto and he wanted a son. I think she just gave him the boy, while disregarding the BG breeding program. Probably never gave it a second thought.

All things are possible, and I can see FH, while creating DUNE, with pencils and paper flying everywhere exploring every possible plot line. I defer to his judgement that the male child for Duke Leto was the right choice.

Fan fiction (not from the the idiot twins) could explore this and would be interesting, each of the ideas you presented could be possible.
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Apjak
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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby Apjak » 02 Jul 2009 08:26

trang wrote:I think its just straight up face value since its right at the begining of the story. Jessica was deeply in love with Duke Leto and he wanted a son. I think she just gave him the boy, while disregarding the BG breeding program. Probably never gave it a second thought.

All things are possible, and I can see FH, while creating DUNE, with pencils and paper flying everywhere exploring every possible plot line. I defer to his judgement that the male child for Duke Leto was the right choice.




Could be one shot, one moment thing, and once the call was made she's stuck with it. He wanted a male and she was ready with one egg; Universe suffers Kwisatz Haderachs.
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Lundse
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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby Lundse » 02 Jul 2009 10:34

Apjak wrote:Could be one shot, one moment thing, and once the call was made she's stuck with it. He wanted a male and she was ready with one egg; Universe suffers Kwisatz Haderachs.


I'm buying that one: at the moment she was meant to ensure she had one female child, she chose differently out of love. Could she have arranged for twins of both genders? Maybe. But not at the moment when she had to chose.

This is by far the most likely explanation.

And presumably this fucked up the BG plans on all sorts of levels, which is why she was not commanded to bear a girl shortly after the birth. (And we know the BG was curious about the possibility of the KH 'coming early').

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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby Serkanner » 02 Jul 2009 14:01

Lundse wrote:
Apjak wrote:Could be one shot, one moment thing, and once the call was made she's stuck with it. He wanted a male and she was ready with one egg; Universe suffers Kwisatz Haderachs.


I'm buying that one: at the moment she was meant to ensure she had one female child, she chose differently out of love. Could she have arranged for twins of both genders? Maybe. But not at the moment when she had to chose.

This is by far the most likely explanation.

And presumably this fucked up the BG plans on all sorts of levels, which is why she was not commanded to bear a girl shortly after the birth. (And we know the BG was curious about the possibility of the KH 'coming early').


Isn't Mohiam actually "accusing" Jessica of being rather arrogant because she thinks she might indeed bear the Kwisatch haderach? That would explain why she didn't have twins: there would be no reason for a girl if Paul was indeed the KH
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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby Freakzilla » 02 Jul 2009 14:09

For reference:

"Well, Jessica, what have you to say for yourself?" asked the Reverend
Mother.
It was near sunset at Castle Caladan on the day of Paul's ordeal. The two
women were alone in Jessica's morning room while Paul waited in the adjoining
soundproofed Meditation Chamber.
Jessica stood facing the south windows. She saw and yet did not see the
evening's banked colors across meadow and river. She heard and yet did not hear
the Reverend Mother's question.
There had been another ordeal once -- so many years ago. A skinny girl with
hair the color of bronze, her body tortured by the winds of puberty, had entered
the study of the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, Proctor Superior of the
Bene Gesserit school on Wallach IX. Jessica looked down at her right hand,
flexed the fingers, remembering the pain, the terror, the anger.
"Poor Paul," she whispered.
"I asked you a question, Jessica!" The old woman's voice was snappish,
demanding.
"What? Oh . . . " Jessica tore her attention away from the past, faced the
Reverend Mother, who sat with back to the stone wall between the two west
windows. "What do you want me to say?"
"What do I want you to say? What do I want you to say?" The old voice
carried a tone of cruel mimicry.
"So I had a son!" Jessica flared. And she knew she was being goaded into
this anger deliberately.
"You were told to bear only daughters to the Atreides."
"It meant so much to him," Jessica pleaded.
"And you in your pride thought you could produce the Kwisatz Haderach!"
Jessica lifted her chin. "I sensed the possibility."
"You thought only of your Duke's desire for a son," the old woman snapped.
"And his desires don't figure in this. An Atreides daughter could've been wed to
a Harkonnen heir and sealed the breach. You've hopelessly complicated matters.
We may lose both bloodlines now."
"You're not infallible," Jessica said. She braved the steady stare from the
old eyes.
Presently, the old woman muttered: "What's done is done."


Note that Jessica was not ordered to bear A daughter but ONLY daughters.
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georgiedenbro
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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby georgiedenbro » 20 Aug 2014 14:37

Since Jessica says quite clearly that she did it for Leto, it is equally pertinent to ask why Leto might have wanted a son but not a daughter. It's not as if Jessica guessed what Leto wanted, he told her, and we aren't privy to the talks they had about it. We don't know what else he told her, which may include the possibility that he mentioned not wanting a daughter in his house who would secretly serve the BG. Even if he didn't say anything like this, Jessica would have known that a BG-trained daughter couldn't be truly loyal to Leto, and if Jessica loved Leto enough that she couldn't bear to have anyone around with divided loyalties then she'd take it upon herself to avoid having a daughter. It was bad enough Jessica having a conflict of interest between her love for Leto and the BG; if she had had a daughter, she'd end up embroiled in a non-stop conflict of interest in trying to balance the daughter's loyalties.

Jessica later did conceive Alia, but in that instance she said she did it 'out of instinct' and didn't really know why she did it; the whole issue about Leto's desires would have been moot by then, of course.
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Apjak
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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby Apjak » 21 Aug 2014 12:21

It is almost certainly because only males could be heirs in the Imperium, and Duke Leto's position is much more secure once he has an heir. Let's follow the BG plan for a minute, if Leto has "only daughters" then the BG arrange for Feyd Rautha marry the important one, ensuring that the awaited KH will hold the Harkonnen Barony and the Atreides Duchy outright. That powerful noble would then be the perfect mate for the important one of Shaddam's "only daughters".
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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby georgiedenbro » 21 Aug 2014 14:47

Apjak wrote:It is almost certainly because only males could be heirs in the Imperium, and Duke Leto's position is much more secure once he has an heir. Let's follow the BG plan for a minute, if Leto has "only daughters" then the BG arrange for Feyd Rautha marry the important one, ensuring that the awaited KH will hold the Harkonnen Barony and the Atreides Duchy outright. That powerful noble would then be the perfect mate for the important one of Shaddam's "only daughters".


The question is not why he wanted a son, but why, in addition, he might have *not* wanted a daughter. OP asked why Jessica didn't just have twins, which could satisfy both Leto and the BG.
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Re: Chosing a male child...

Postby Freakzilla » 21 Aug 2014 15:16

The Bene Gesserit didn't want her to have an Atreides male at all, so twins wouldn't have been acceptable to them.
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