The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is a hilarious sci-fi comedy. With witty comments about digital watches and depressed robots, Douglas Adams truly is a prophet to all comedy writers. The book opens with Earth and a man named Arthur Dent. Arthur's house is going to be demolished to make way for a bypass. To delay this, Arthur lays in front of the bulldozer that is advancing on his home. After laying there for quite a while, his friend, Ford Prefect tells him to get up and go to the bar with him because he has to tell him something important. After convincing the construction workers to wait in the plowing down of Arthur's home, they both head over to the local bar.
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Arthur is just a normal, average man and he shows this through his reactions to finding that the Earth was destroyed:
"The dollar, he thought, has sunk forever. Slight tremor there. Every Bogart movie has been wiped, he said to himself, and that gave him a nasty knock. McDonald's, he thought. There is no longer any such thing as a McDonald's hamburger. He passed out.(61)". Here, resting on the Vogon ship, Arthur is contemplating all the things he has lost and gauging how much they make him feel separated from everything he knows and loves. In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent truly is the 'normal man' that readers can relate with.
The theme of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is that when you are confronted with problems and hardships, take your time and don't panic. This is true because of the case that the in-book Hitchhiker's Guide:
" 'What is it? asked Arthur. 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It's a sort of electronic book, It tells you everything you need to know about anything. That's its job.' (52).
The Guide is covered with a case that reads: " 'Don't Panic' (52). When Arthur finds out that Earth has been destroyed, he goes into almost a state of hysteria. After receiving the electronic Hitchhiker's Guide he says: " 'I like the cover,' he said, 'Don't Panic.' It's the first helpful or intelligible thing anybody's said to me all day.' (52). As for the rest of the book, Arthur, as a character, doesn't really change from his original state, other than becoming a little less nervous about his surroundings.
Mostly in the beginning of the book, Arthur Dent has internal conflicts with himself. He has almost constant hysteria and depression for the next two chapters involving him. Though after these chapters of mourning for the Earth, he begins to live the life of a hitchhiker. He stops t really worrying about things that aren't about to kill him and just 'going with the flow'. I also believe that the reason that there is a lack of conflict is that it is more of a comedy than a traditional science-fiction book.
The book, The...