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Pointing out the satirical elements of Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Essay Example

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Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Satirical Elements Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has become a minor sensation among 20th century science fiction novels. The text’s exploration of a number of elements places it at this level of esteem…
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Pointing out the satirical elements of Douglas Adams The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy
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Download file to see previous pages While the novel ostensibly takes place in the distant future, it’s clear that a number of the thematic concerns examined in the novel have contemporary relevance. In these regards, theorists and critics have argued that in large part the novel is satirical. This essay considers the novel as one of satire, arguing that through the bulldozer that threatens to demolish Arthur Dent’s house and later Earth, the crooked political Zaphod Beeblebrox, and the threat of the Vogon poetry reading, Douglas Adams satirizes social, political, and literary elements. One of the first satirical elements explored in the novel is the encroachment of development and technology on our daily lives. From the beginning of the novel reference is made to an impending bulldozer that is outside Arthur Dent’s home. The next scene in the novel finds Arthur Dent lying on the ground attempting to stop the bulldozer from demolishing his home. It’s during this time that Ford Prefect appears. He is described as being from, “somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse” (Adams, pg. 5). Ford is able to convince the bulldozer operator to lay on the ground in place of Arthur Dent, so the two men can go to the pub. While this part of the novel is ostensibly absurd and comedic, it also can be argued to have satirical connotations. In these regards, the bulldozer can be read as the encroachment of development on the sanctity of daily life. Dent becomes emblematic of a perspective that is attempting to hold onto these old world values. From another perspective, the bulldozer can also be read as the encroachment of technology on our daily lives. While during the time of the novel’s construction the internet and social networking weren’t as pervasive, this essay argues that part of the text’s lasting power is its ability to continue to appeal to a contemporary audience. In these regards, the bulldozer encroaching on Arthur’s house can be read as a metaphor of the technological aspects of the internet and social networking encroaching on our daily lives; the rest of the novel then can be read as a sort of resistance of this technological advancement. The next satirical element concerns the nature of Zaphod Beeblebrox. Beeblebrox is the President of the Imperial Galactic Government. His appearance comes out-of-sync in the storyline and seems to have an underlining purpose. Beeblebrox is giving a fantastical description in the story. He is described as an, “adventurer, ex-hippy, good timer, manic self-publicist, who is "terribly bad at personal relationships," and "often thought to be completely out to lunch" (Adams, pg. 34). The ruler is described as existing on a deserted island and about to unearth the Heart of Gold to the universe. Heart of Gold appears to be a sort of starship government project that has within it a gold box. In reality, it’s indicated that Zaphod and the Heart of Gold have nefarious intentions to steal the new starship. This scene is clearly complex and for the most part seems to have a comedic element that advances the narrative. Still, from another perspective it’s clear the Zaphod represents a modern day sort of politician. In these regards, one can consider his description of being on an island as the similarity of a politician being removed from the populace they are designed to help. The name of the Heart of Gold project is also indicative of the sort of social welfare and good intentioned project on might envision from politicians. The name ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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