The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Novel (Douglas Adams) vs. Film (Garth Jennings)

1162 Words5 Pages
The comic sub-genre of science fiction is widely used in today’s pop culture, as it uses its wit and charm to capture the imaginations of children and adults alike. One of the most influential masters of this genre is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, which was later transformed into a film directed by Garth Jennings. Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space. The book has a narrative that whips along with anarchic frenzied humour and loveably-deranged characters, but that doesn’t mean it lacks depth. Many of the quotations from the Guide or Encyclopaedia Galactica deal with themes of atheism versus religious dogma and, in a mocking and yet still profound way, the meaning of life, the universe and everything. One of the guiding principles of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is that of absurdity, coupled with the concept of coincidence and improbability. This does not mean that the whole book is a series of events that occur in random order. Most of the extreme examples of meaninglessness, in fact, do have a cause—they are the products of the Infinite Improbability Drive on the Starship Heart of Gold. The fairly logical explanation of the Improbability Drive in Chapter 10 allows the novel to introduce its most fantastic oddities and coincidences. An example of this is when Arthur triggers the improbability drive to avoid the automated missile defence systems on Magrathea. The missiles transform into a bowl of petunias and a soon asphyxiated sperm whale, which falls to the planet below before fully pondering the meaning of its existence. The narrator also discusses several examples of coincidences, including the coincidence that France is both the

More about The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Novel (Douglas Adams) vs. Film (Garth Jennings)

Open Document