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His Preposterous Heritage Summary

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The title of Part II is “His Preposterous Heritage,” a strange appellation, as none of Smith’s biological heritage is discussed in the novel. The title instead metaphorically relates to the adoptive family Smith finds among Jill, Jubal Harshaw, and his servants. With his innocence and naïveté, Smith’s perception of the world is completely structured from his environment under the guidance of Jubal and his coterie. Jubal immediately begins to treat Smith with a fatherly fondness, and everybody in the household begins affectionately referring to him as “Mike.” This leads Mike to form a deep connection with his new acquaintances, as they all eventually become his “water brothers”. Meanwhile, Heinlein begins to develop Jubal Harshaw into a more central character. Jubal’s arguments with Jill and Duke, one of his employees, serve as a platform for him to elucidate his libertarian convictions. Jubal challenges the standard way of thinking, as his speeches tend to concern the responsibility of the individual to make his or her own decisions and determine his or her own…show more content…
Mike’s interpretation of religion lies in the word “grok,” as it is centrally significant to the way Mike sees the world. Although the meaning of the word can never be translated into English, it is clear that “grokking” is something more than knowing—one who “groks” is connected to all other who “grok” and everybody and everything that is “grokked.” Within this, Mike finds a connection to the human God—just as God is a force that flows through everything in the universe, so is “grokking.” Just as all people “grok,” Mike believes that all people are God. He references Jubal, exclaiming, “Thou art God. That which groks. Anne is God. I am God. The happy grass are God” (Heinlein 184). This belief forms the basis of the message that he promotes throughout the rest of the
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