Sunday, March 13, 2011

The HItchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

This story, written by Douglas Adams, begins with a man named Arthur Dent. His house is scheduled for demolition to make a path for a bypass. On on particular day he wakes up and sees bulldozers in his yard preparing to demolish his house. While he is dealing with that situation his friend, Ford, appears and tells him that the world is about to be destroyed. Soon after, Arthur finds himself on a spaceship with Ford. Ford explains that the world has been destroyed to make way for an interstellar bypass. Ford then puts a yellow Babel fish Arthurs ear so that he can understand all the different languages. As the leave the ship, they are picked up by Zaphod and Trillian. Zaphod is the president of the Galaxy and he kidnapped himself and stole a space ship. He is on a quest to find Magrathea, a planet that has a computer designed to answer the ultimate question. The majority of the novel follows the group as they travel around trying to find Magrathea. When they finally reach the computer it does not have the answer they are looking for. It instead tells them the answer to life is "42" and that it first needed a question to answer. It had created another computer, smarter than itself to find the question. The computer that it had created was Earth. But Earth had been recently destroyed so the question was lost.

What do you think Adams was trying to say about earth by making it a computer searching for the "ultimate question"?

9 comments:

Jacob B 11-12 said...

I believe it was trying to say that the people of earth have become very computerlike and are no longer able to truly think for themselves. I also believe that it is trying to make a point about the answer to life. There is no one true computer generated answer. One must find out for himself what his own personal answer to life is.

Fritz J. 13-14 said...

I agree with that, especially the point about the answer that you brought up.

Courtney R 5-6 said...

I think that this question can have many answers to it, depending on who's viewpoint one is looking at. I beleive that Adams was trying to say that there really isn't an answer to the "ultimate question." This may pertain to the meaning of life. A lot of people try to decide what the meaning of their life is, or what the meaning of life in general is. Because the Earth was destroyed, I think this proves that there is no definite answer to that question. Some may believe there is meaning to life while others may not. Once again, it all depends on the individual.

Steve S 13-14 said...

I think, by making the various computers to find this answer to "life" Adams was trying to say how there really can never be an answer

Julie S. 5-6 said...

I think he was trying to say that earth has become too focused on the answer to life rather than living life to the fullest. Because of that they will eventually become irrelevant and not be contribute to the good of people.

Bojana D 11.12 said...

As everyone else said, I believe he was trying to say that there is not one, single answer to life. Everyone has different experiences, and therefore encounters diverse events that make their viewpoints and "answers to life" incomparable to anyone elses.

Kristen R. 11-12 said...

I think that Adams was trying to show that people in today's society have become very "computerized" in the sense that many people are programmed into thinking that they must act a certain way or think in a particular fashion in order to fit the norm. However, who defines the norm, and who's to say that we must all be alike? I also think that the search for the "ultimate question" parallels our journeys in life; when we encounter problems we often look for outs or ways to avoid them in order to achieve success or reach what we're looking for. However, sometimes by continuously averting the problem, we just end up back at square one, thus showing that there truly is no "ultimate question" or corresponding "ultimate answer," for it is the experiences and difficulties that define our lives.

KatherineS13-14 said...

I think that he was trying to say that it is impossible to find the meaning of life before you have fully lived your life. You cannot be told what the meaning of life is, you must discover it on your own.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

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