In this last week of class, we focused on science fiction parody and satire. This genre is very different than others; while it does have the classic science fiction tropes, like space and aliens and high adventure, it often does not have a clear central theme or build up to a climax. This is very true with this weeks book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. It centers on the typical and absurd humor that Britain comedic satire id known for, as seen in the TV show and the movies of Monty Python.
Hitchhiker’s Guide is big on irony, a very important element in parody and satire. In the beginning of the book Arthur’s main concern was that his house was going to be demolished to make way for a bypass. When he confronts the demolisher, he says the plans have been available for him to see and its too late to complain, in which Arthur replies the plans were practically impossible to know about or get to. This plot is exactly what happens when the Vogons invade the Earth. They say that Earth will be destroyed to make way for a galactic highway and the paperwork has been available on another planet and that it is too late now to make a complaint. Arthur has a bigger issue now and a whole lot of irony.
There is no real rising action in Hitchhiker’s Guide; it is just one thing after the other, ending in a very unexciting yet comical way. After Arthur discovers the history of the creation of Earth, superhuman beings in the form of mice try to take Arthur’s brain and he and his friends flee from them and police looking for Zaphod, who had stolen a ship. And after that, they go and get lunch, the end. It is a pretty immediate resolution, right?
The entire story is a dry humor, but I really enjoyed reading it. I’m looking forward to listening to the radio drama and seeing the movie.