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About the Author Douglas Adams was born in Cambridge in March 1952, educated at Brentwood School, Essex and St John's College, Cambridge where, in 1974.

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Presentation on theme: "About the Author Douglas Adams was born in Cambridge in March 1952, educated at Brentwood School, Essex and St John's College, Cambridge where, in 1974."— Presentation transcript:


2 About the Author Douglas Adams was born in Cambridge in March 1952, educated at Brentwood School, Essex and St John's College, Cambridge where, in 1974 he gained a BA (and later an MA) in English literature. He sold over 15 million books in the UK, the US and Australia and was also a best seller in German, Swedish and many other languages.

3 About H2G2 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy series created by Douglas Adams. Originally a radio comedy broadcast on the BBC in 1978, it was later adapted to other formats, and it gradually became an international multi-media phenomenon. Adaptations have included stage shows, a series of five books first published between 1979 and 1992,a 1981 TV series, a 1984 computer game, and three series of three- part comic book adaptations.





8 CHAPTERS ONE to THREE: Arthur’s house is to be demolished due to the construction of a bypass. He has a verbal conflict with some of the workers and lies in front of a bulldozer until his friend Ford takes him to a bar. At the bar Ford mentions that the world is going to end (in about 12 minutes) and that he and Arthur need to drink heavily (muscle relaxant).

9 CHAPTERS ONE to THREE (cont): Ford also tells Arthur that he is really an alien. Some others at the bar begin to believe Ford due to the tips he is giving the bartender (money will soon be useless) and the matter-of-fact way he says the world is going to end. Spaceships appear and give notice to Earth that it is to be destroyed in approx. two minutes.

10 Genghis Khan was the Mongol founder, and Khan (ruler) of the largest contiguous empire in history. During his life, the Mongol Empire eventually occupied most of Asia. His descendants went on to stretch the Mongol Empire across most of Eurasia, conquering all of modern-day China, as well as substantial portions of modern Russia, southern Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

11 The Visigoths were one of two main branches of the Goths, an East Germanic Tribe, the Ostrogoths being the other. Together these tribes were among the Germanic Peoples who disturbed the late Roman Empire. After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the Visigoths played a major role in western European affairs for another two and a half centuries.


13 The origin of the towel joke Adams had gone on holiday in Greece, but every time he had decided to go to the beach with his fellows, he discovered that his towel would disappear, and could be found only after hours of searching. After the holiday had ended, he decided that anyone who really had their life in order would always know the location of such a useful item. He had no idea that this towel joke would catch on so thoroughly. He assumed, after learning that so many people liked and understood the joke, that he was not the only one with such an experience. After his death, Towel Day was established on May 25 as a tribute.



16 CHAPTERS FOUR TO SIX Zaphod Beeblebrox is the main character in chapter four, and we learn about the process for becoming (and qualifications for) Galactic President. There is definitely a hidden agenda behind him becoming president, but it is only hinted at so far.

17 CHAPTERS FOUR TO SIX (CONT) The Vogons are described in very unpleasant terms – they seem to be large, slug-like, ill-tempered, stubborn creatures who write bad poetry. Ford disclosed to Arthur the nature of “The Guide” and that Earth had been demolished.

18 CHAPTERS FOUR TO SIX (CONT) In order to function better in his travels, Ford gives Arthur a Babel fish. While travelling through hyperspace, Arthur has a panic attack and desperately needs to see something from Earth (the only entry about Earth in “The Guide” is “mostly harmless”).

19 “If we’re unlucky,” said Ford grimly, “the captain might be serious in his threat that he’s going to read us some of his poetry first…” (p. 52)


21 CHAPTERS SEVEN to NINE: Ford and Arthur are tortured with Vogon poetry which uses enhancers to put the poems images et al into the mind of the victim. After lying outrageously about how much they “enjoyed” the poem, the Vogons throw them into space to die!

22 CHAPTERS SEVEN to NINE (con’t): “The Guide” discusses how large space is, problems some resort planets have with over-visitation (and their solutions) – this is similar to what some sensitive areas in real parks experience, and it tells us the odds of Ford and Arthur’s rescue within the 30 survival window. (267 709:1)

23 CHAPTERS SEVEN to NINE (con’t): After their rescue, Ford and Arthur experience a wild ride as the improbability drive jumps from one crazy experience to another. As the improbability ratio drops, things become more “normal”.


25 CHAPTERS TEN to TWELVE: In chapter ten the narrator gives the history of the discovery of the Improbability Drive by a student who was left to clean up the lab. We soon meet Marvin, a robot with a “genuine people personality” – he is a comic stereotype of a deeply depressed person.

26 CHAPTERS TEN to TWELVE (con’t):. Ford learns that his childhood friend and “semi-cousin” Zaphod is in control of the ship. While Zaphod is listening to the radio for news about himself we see that he is a caricature of the narcissistic personality type.


28 CHAPTERS THIRTEEN to FIFTEEN: To Arthur’s surprise, the other person on board the spaceship is a girl he knew on Earth as Tricia McMillan. Zaphod begins to home in on the object of his quest – the most improbable planet ever, Magrathea. We then learn about the history of the planet Magrathea, where a race of builders once made luxury planets to order for rich merchants.


30 CHAPTERS SIXTEEN to EIGHTEEN: Zaphod and Ford argue about the planet they are orbiting. Zaphod, whose motive is a desire for wealth and fame, believes it is Magrathea, but Ford is skeptical. As the Heart of Gold approaches the planet a voice warns the crew to stay away, then soon attacks.

31 CHAPTERS SIXTEEN to EIGHTEEN (con’t): The Improbability Drive has rearranged everything that takes place in chapter 18, an example of the transformational motif that exists in fantasy literature.


33 CHAPTERS NINETEEN to TWENTY-ONE: As the group is about to step onto Magrathea, Trillian is upset because the white mice she brought from Earth have escaped. On the planet’s surface Zaphod discovers a huge crater made by the fallen whale and Arthur encounters a very old man.

34 CHAPTERS TWENTY – TWO to TWENTY-FOUR: The old man on the planet says his name is Slartibartfast. He explains that he and his cohorts have just awakened from a five million year sleep which was their way of dealing with an economic recession. The narrator reveals that the second most intelligent creatures on Earth, the dolphins, tried to warn humans about the destruction of the planet.

35 CHAPTERS TWENTY – TWO to TWENTY-FOUR (con’t): Additionally, the humans of Earth failed to recognize the fact that the little white mice in labs were conducting the experiments, not the scientists. We also learn that the mice really ran the Earth and that the Earth was destroyed five minutes before it was to fulfill the plan for which it was created!


37 CHAPTERS TWENTYFIVE to TWENTYSEVEN: Slartibartfast tells Arthur that millions of years ago a race of hyperintelligent beings decided to find out the ANSWER to the big QUESTION about LIFE. To do so they built a huge computer called DEEP THOUGHT. He then offers to show Arthur what happened on the day of the ANSWER.

38 CHAPTERS TWENTYFIVE to TWENTYSEVEN (con’t): In viewing the day of the ANWER, Arthur sees what might be called the cosmic understatement. The ANSWER that took 7 ½ million years of thought is “42”.


40 CHAPTERS TWENTYEIGHT to THIRTY: Deep Thought said that the problem was that they didn’t have the right QUESTION to go with the ultimate ANSWER. He then talks about the greater computer that will come after him, an organic matrix that will be called Earth.

41 CHAPTERS TWENTYEIGHT to THIRTY (con’t): The party recover from their gassing and find themselves in a waiting room where they are told the mice are ready to see them. Slartibartfast clears up any remaining mysteries about the history of the Earth, saying that it was Deep Thought that designed the planet, the Magratheans who built it and the Vogons who destroyed it.


43 CHAPTERS THIRTY-ONE to THIRTY-FIVE : The mice now claim that since Arthur survived, they no longer need the Earth to find the QUESTION, all they need is Arthur’s brain. Wanting to keep his brain, Arthur and the party run down a corridor, leaving the mice to invent a QUESTION to go with the ANSWER “42”. They settle on “How many roads must a man walk down?”

44 CHAPTERS THIRTY-ONE to THIRTY-FIVE (con’t): They discover after returning to the Heart of Gold that Marvin had plugged himself into the craft’s external power feed and shared his view on the universe, causing the ship’s computer to commit suicide, cutting off the life support to the cops. Safe at last, the party heads for the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.








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