HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY
By Douglas Adams
Who is the main protagonist?
What do we find out about his personality on the first pages? Write down at least 2 quotes and
explain what these say about his personality
“Kettle, plug, fridge, milk, coffee. Yawn.”
The author uses both listing and incomplete sentences, what is the effect of this?
What was about to happen to Arthur’s house?
What is your first impression of Arthur?
What is the name of Arthur’s close friend who “was not descended from an ape,”? Where was he
Where did he get his name from?
Describe what both protagonists look like. Quote from story as much as possible.
Who did Ford work for?
Fill in the below quote
““Myself, I’d trust him to the end of the Earth,” said Ford.
“Oh yes,” said Arthur, “and how far’s that?”
“About ______________ minutes away,” said Ford.”
Write down the simile/quote that states what it’s like to drink a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.
“[The Guide] says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. It says that the
effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon
wrapped round a large gold brick.” (answer – don’t include)
Why did they both have to drink 3 pints of beer?
“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.” What does this quote mean?
What was floating in the atmosphere?
List all the places that they passed over “without a blimp.”
Why was The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy published in the “form of a micro sub-meson
Explain what this Guide states about towels in your own words.
What did the drunken man in the bar suggest to do at the end of the world?
List all the things the Arthur did not notice.
“It’s difficult to say exactly what the people on the surface of the planet were doing now, because
they didn’t really know what they were doing themselves.”
What is the author trying to say about society?
How would you react if you were told the world was about to end?
Explain the similarities between what the Vogans told the humans to what the construction
company told Arthur.
Arthur/Construction Company The Vogans/Humans
“I don't know, apathetic bloody planet, I've no sympathy at all.”
What does this quote mean, especially explain apathetic?
Predict what will happen to Arthur and Ford.
Who do we meet at the beginning of this chapter?
Who is he?
In the footer the President’s job and occupation is described in detail, in your own words –
what/who is the President?
What was the ‘antic’ that Zaphod had planned?
What planet do you think Trillian is from? Why?
Finish Zaphod’s famous speech.
“That is really _______________, that really is truly amazing. That is so ____________ amazing I
thing I’d like to ________ it.”
Draw what you think a Vogan looks like. Label each part as stated in the novel.
Describe where Ford and Arthur landed.
What is it that Ford Prefect didn’t understand about Humans? What was his theory to account for
this strange behaviour?
What was the “first helpful or intelligible thing anybody’s said’ to Arthur?
“He was experiencing the aural equivalent of looking at a picture of two black silhouetted faces and
suddenly seeing it as a picture of a white candlestick.” Explain what this means.
“What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?”
“You ask a glass of water.”
What do you think this means? explain
What is the Babel Fish?
When thinking about the destruction of Earth, what causes Arthur to pass out?
What was written about Earth in the Hitchhiker’s Guide?
What was Ford’s rectified definition of Earth?
Write a more detailed description of the Earth for the new revised edition of the Hitchhiker’s Guide.
What are the 3 worst types of poetry in the Universe?
What were the 4 pieces of electronic equipment which were attached “to heighten the experience
of the poem”?
Briefly explain what you think each one would enhance.
“Resistance is useless” List all the ways that ‘resistance was useless’ to both Ford/Arthur and the
Ford/Arthur The Guard
How is resistance useless?
“Space, is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. I mean
you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.”
With a lungful of air, how long will you survive in a vacuum?
What was the ‘staggering coincidence’? Explain what this means?
“This was because Reason was in fact out to lunch.”
In chapter 2 Ford is quoted as saying "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
So what is the author saying about both Reason and Lunch? Explain
What improbable things happened when the hole appeared in the universe?
What was the very first probability given?
Explain what happens to both Arthur and Ford. Use at least 2 absurd quotes which show this
e.g. "Ford," he said, "you're turning into a penguin. Stop it."
This is my personal favourite chapter of the story, as it had me in hysterics; make up a comic strip of
6 boxes about a sequence from this chapter. Choose your favourite sequence from this chapter.
Describe what the Infinite Improbability Drive is and how it came to be invented.
What is absurd about the design of The Heart of Gold?
Describe Marvin. Find at least 2 quotes which sum up his personality. What features had he been
How do you think Ford knows the name Zaphod Beetlebrox?
What do we learn about both Trillian and Zaphod in this chapter?
“The number of things that Arthur couldn’t believe he was seeing was fairly large.”
List all these ‘unbelievable’ things Arthur has encountered on this day of his life.
What was Trillian’s original name?
What did “Phil” say to get Tricia to leave with him? Use the complete quote and quotation marks
What had Zaphod let Trillian bring with her?
“She wished she knew what it was she was trying not to think about” Both Zaphod and Trillian were
having trouble thinking. What do you think both were trying to remember?
Who was the odd one out? Quote needed
Why is it “the most improbable planet that ever existed”?
What were Zaphod and Ford arguing about?
“Clearly, it was very very old.” – This talks of how old Magrathea is. What made Ford realise that it
could be the improbable planet?
What does the narrator warn us about at the end of the chapter? List several of the things
“Will you get it into your heads? That’s just a recorded message. It’s millions of years old. It doesn’t
apply to us, get it?” Explain the pun in this quote.
Absurdity is a key theme in this novel, this story and this chapter break several of the structural and
writing ‘rules’ you find in ‘normal’ novels. What is one of the ‘rules’ that it breaks?
What happened to the Heart of Gold at the end of this chapter? Explain what makes you think this.
Write the definition
What happened to the missiles?
Who saved them and How?
What thoughts went through the poor innocent sperm whale before its probable end?
What thought went through the bowl of petunias? Why do you think it thought this?
What had escaped?
Why do you think the author uses the word ‘escaped’ and not ‘missing/lost/gone/not there etc’?
“A few minutes later he opened and closed the hatchway again in response to a command that
caught him (Eddie) entirely by surprise.” What do this quote means? Who would open the
hatchway? Why is it a surprise?
What created the crater?
Describe Marvin’s attitude to life. (Use at least 1 quote as evidence)
What is absurd about Zaphod’s reason for stealing the Heart of Gold?
“Last thing I did before I packed it in was take the superimposed picture and look at it through a
green filter. You remember I was always superstitious about the colour green when I was a kid?”
Describe what absurd tests Zaphod did on his brain to discover what happened.
What had happened to his brain? Who did this?
What was the theory about Biros?
What other ridiculous theories could you pose about missing items?
“..the sort of face you’d happily bank with.” What does this mean? Explain
Why is the man acting so unsettled?
How did the ‘economic recession’ affect Magrathea?
How do you think Slartibartfast feels about his name? Use quotes to explain your opinion
What message had the dolphins given to the humans and how was it misinterpreted?
What is the smartest creature on Earth?
Why was it their plan to have humans misinterpret their relationship?
Where does Slartibartfast take Arthur when they arrive at the end of the tunnels?
“Part of his brain told him that he knew perfectly well what he was looking at and what the shapes
represented whilst another quite sensibly refused to countenance the idea…” Why is Arthur
struggling to believe what he is seeing?
Who made the Earth? What did Slartibartfast win an award for?
Describe Arthur’s point of view of mice. (use at least 2 quotes)
Describe Slartibartfast’s point of view of mice. (use at least 2 quotes)
Why is ‘time’ currently not one of Arthur’s problems?
How big was the ‘stupendous super-computer’?
Who were the two programmers?
Why is Deep Thought only the second most powerful computer?
What was the question?
Why did the Philosophers not want the question asked?
What was Deep Thoughts answer to saving the Philosophers job? How long would it take to
calculate the ‘answer’?
What does Arthur really want to understand?
What happened when Arthur took hold of the two wire ends?
What was The Great Answer?
What was the issue Deep Thought had with the question?
Find one quote which proves this
What was Deep Thought’s plan to find the ultimate question?
Who were the hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings that were to navigate the program?
What does gold gleam like? (quote needed)
What is the ‘catalogue’? Explain
Whose idea was it to steal The Heart of Gold?
“The mice will see you now.” What do you think the mice want to see them about?
What’s bureaucracy? And why is it so well known for always messing up?
What were some of the improbable occurrences to have happened so far? List at least 5
Chaos theory = which holds that order can be found in seemingly random data. One aspect of chaos
theory is a phenomenon called sensitive dependence on existing conditions. The thought is that
small changes in initial conditions can have drastic effects on the outcome. Douglas Adams' Hitch
Hiker series could be considered in some ways a humorous study of Chaos theory.
What improbable and absurd event occurred at the beginning of this chapter? Explain
What had the mice been doing to the 3 hostages?
What was Slartibartfast told by the mice?
“Why?” said Arthur, sharply.
Why had the mice been searching for 10 million years? Why didn’t they want to do it again?
What caused Zaphod’s irrational and absurd choice to search for Magrathea? Find a quote
What do the mice want with Arthur? Explain Why?
What was the extremely improbable event that happened just as the four were about to be ended?
What was the ‘faked’ Ultimate Question?
Why did the cops start shooting at them?
Explain why the cops, who state are firmly against it, possibly don’t understand the term “needless
What do you think will happen to the four adventurers?
“Such a system was fail-safe in all circumstances other than a total feedback malfunction, which was
unheard of.” What improbable thing happened to the cops?
Why had Slartibartfast left them his air-car?
How did Marvin save the four explorers?