Saturday, April 30, 2011

Character/Plot Summary

Although the character and plot summaries can be found in my blog, I'll save anyone whom needs some background information in order to answer the seminar questions the trouble of finding them.

Arthur Dent

Arthur Dent is a follower in the least. He is essentially dragged along in the journey throughout the universe by Ford. He is still in quite a bit of shock from the destruction of his planet and is comparable to that of a lost sheep.

    Arthur continues to be disinterest in his surroundings for the most part, no matter how amazing they might be. Apparently space travel, talking robots and alien races bore him. This disinterest is expressed best when discribing Arthur as he walks the on an alien planet millions of miles away from planet earth:

“On the surface of Magrathea Arthur wandered about moodily”

This quote I feel best expresses Arthur's negative attitude in general. However, it could easily be the destruction of everything he ever knew and loved that is putting him off. I find Arthur Dent interesting in that he is completely uninteresting, which is strange for a main character of a novel, and is unlike any novel I have ever read. There is one part during the second half of the novel however where Arthur become momentarily interested in something, something in which will most likely change him forever… Or for the time being at least.


Background:

Arthur Dent is one of two known remaining earthlings (both of whom are from the same town in Britain) to escape the demolition of the planet Earth. He and Ford Prefect escaped the planet seconds before its destruction.

Ford Prefect

Ford travels the universe looking for nothing more than a good time, and uses his experience to fill the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (a most popular book amongst the universe). He like his friend Zaphod is quite air headed and seemingly both goalless and ambitionless.  

    Ford is a strange character to say the least and a very strange character to say the most. Although he sometimes resembles a human in words and actions he is completely unlike humans at other times. Like Arthur he is disinterested in most things however the exceptions being women, alcohol and partying. It is interesting to compare both Arthur and Ford as they both share a past of having their home planet destroyed along with everyone they ever loved. Although their past is the same they both deal with it completely differently. Ford on one hand just tries to block it out by filling each day with fun and excitement or alcohol, while Arthur has almost completely disconnected himself from everyone around himself.


Background:

Ford Prefect also happens to be the last remaining survivor of his planets destruction. He met Arthur on the planet Earth during his unfortunate 25 year stay. 


Slartibartfast

    Slartibartfast is an inhabitant of Magrathea whose job is to design fjords. It turns out that the planet Magrathea in fact manufactures other planets, Earth being one of them, and has been temporarily shut down for millions of years because they ran out of clients who were rich enough. He is quite peculiar (as are most of Adams characters) and in the end plays quite a big role in both the conflict and conflict resolution.


Novel Summary:

Arthur Dent is a regular English fellow whom to his great surprise is now planet-less. The Earth as he knows it has been destroyed by the evil alien race of Vogons who destroyed Earth in place of an inter-galactic highway. Arthur is saved by his friend Ford who just so happened to be a hitchhiking alien who travels the universe. During his travels Ford adds his discoveries to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". Craziness continues as the pair hitchhike from spaceship to spaceship, until Ford is reunited with his friend from high-school Zaphod. Zaphod as it seems is looking for the long lost planet of Magraethia in which is the Lost City of Atlantis of the universe. After much difficulty they eventually find this planet and decide to explore it. Arthur then meets Slartibartfast who tells him of the history -so to say- of the planet Earth. He explains that long ago a computer by the name of Deep Thought was designed in order to discover the Ultimate Answer to life, the universe and everything. After millions of years, and much calculation Deep Thought had the Ultimate Answer: 42. By this time however nobody quite knew what the Ultimate question was anymore and so Deep Thought was put to work again. The computer with the help of Magraethia designed planet Earth which was a computer program of sorts to find the Ultimate Question. Unfortunately for everyone, the planet Earth was destroyed only five minutes before the programs conclusion. Slartibartfast then goes on to explain how it was the mice who funded this operation and how very excited they were to find out that an Earthling survived. Arthur's brain as it turned out had the program embedded into it and now the mice need it in order to salvage 10 million years of lost work. Arthur and friends escape the mice and the planet of Magraethia and continue their journey of the universe.

Okay that about summarizes it. If you have any other questions about the novel or the seminar questions please email me at matthewpaine21@gmail.com and I will answer them to the best of my ability. Again thank you.


2 comments:

  1. This is great - thank you for your work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. thank you for everything, this is just what I needed

    ReplyDelete