Edit for Mixolyde and anyone else: There are spoilers here about both the movie Lawrence of Arabia, which you really should get around to seeing, and the book Dune. Well, to be fair, I'm only spoiling and referring to the first book, but others bring in info from later ones.
On with the real post!
So, I started rereading Dune last night, and though it's been a while since I either read it or saw the movie, I recall the general storyline. It's also been a while since I saw the movie Lawrence of Arabia, but it is one of my all-time favorites, so I also remember most of that storyline, too.
And within the first 10 pages of Dune, I was struck by a thought and wondered if anyone else agreed or could shed light on the subject...
Dune is, essentially, Lawrence of Arabia, but extrapolated for inter-planetary geography.
LoA: bastard son of royalty?(Not sure on this one)
PA: technically bastard son of Duke Leto, much is made of his parents not being married, or rather, it is touched on quite a bit.
LoA: early on, exhibits his mastery over pain by slowly extinguishing a match and offers a quip "Of course it hurts, the trick is in not minding that it hurts."
PA: early on he submits to the test gom jabbar in which his hand is put through extreme pain and he must master the animal instict for flight and exhibit his mastery over his instincts.
LoA: is assigned to go to Arabia as a liaison between the Army and the native Arabs in an attempt to bend them to the will of the Army.
PA: similar situation, House Atraides being the analog of the Army.
LoA: "goes native" and becomes as the Bedouin natives, then rebelling both against the Army and the British Empire, leads the Arabs to independence
PA: "goes native" and becomes as the Fremen natives, then rebelling both against House Atraides and the Empire, leads the Fremen to independence
LoA: Learns to ride a camel
PA: Learns to ride a worm
(Yeah, this one's small, but it's interesting to me just how small of a parallel can be drawn, and how many.)
LoA: Given a new name, El Orens, by the natives
PA: Give a new name, Muad'Dib, by the natives(which is actually a prophesied name, but still.)
LoA: fulfilled various prophecies, none of the specifics I can recall at the moment. I vaguely recall one about him writing his own destiny.
PA: fulfilled various prophecies planted by the Bene Gesserit, and in effect, writing his own destiny.
British Army = House Atraides?
British Empire = the Emperor/Empire
Turks? = House Harkonnen
Various Arab tribes = Landsraad (Edit, woops, this is wrong. The Fremen are the Arabs. The Landsraad would be more along the lines of the various allies of the British Empire)
So, anyone familiar with both tales? Anyone know of older myths/archetypes that are close enough that we could safely say both LoA and Dune were retellings of them rather than Dune being a retelling of LoA in space?
Not sure why I noticed the patterns, or even why I picked up Dune last night. But I did, so now you get to help me deal with it.