IRJE: December 1, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, written by Douglas Adams, earthman Aurthur arrives at a legendary, ancient planet called Margrathea on the space ship Heart of Gold, stolen by the president of the Galaxy, Zaphod. After surviving a few attacks programmed from the ancient planet’s core, Zaphod asks Aurthur to guard the spaceship while the others can explore the interior of the planet. Arthur is taken away by a Magratheian called Slartibartfast. He tells Arthur the truth; Earth was a superintelligent computer system ran by mice. Arthur mutters that he is unused to his current lifestyle. His careless mutter has been carried back in time by a freak wormhole and caused an interstellar battle between the Vl’hurgs and the G’Gugvuntt because of Aurthur’s complaints became very insulting when translated into the Vl’hurg tongue. The battle continued for thousands of years, their ships tore across space and dived towards the earth. However, the entire battle fleet was swallowed by a small dog due to an unfortunate miscalculation.

“Those who study the complex interplay of cause and effect in the history of the Universe say that this sort of thing is going on all the time, but we are powerless to prevent it.
‘It’s just life,’ they say.” (p.116)

Douglas’ virtue is portrayed again through this section of the book. The most important things could disappear instantly, and we have no power to influence the changes in life. The unconscious process of adaptation is fascinating. But I think to adapt and to accept are drastically different matters, and one should always accommodate to survive, but never to forget the opportunities for alternatives.

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2 thoughts on “IRJE: December 1, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

  1. You have explained the story and the quote really well, Cecelia! I’ve read this novel, and I enjoy the way you’re interpreting Douglas.

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  2. Cecilia,

    you have an interesting take on it, and you explain it so even someone like me can understand it.
    Very good!

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