The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy | Study Guide

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Course Hero. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 Nov. 2016. Web. 18 Dec. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Hitchhikers-Guide-to-the-Galaxy/>.

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Course Hero. (2016, November 28). The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved December 18, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Hitchhikers-Guide-to-the-Galaxy/

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Course Hero. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Study Guide." November 28, 2016. Accessed December 18, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Hitchhikers-Guide-to-the-Galaxy/.

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Course Hero, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Study Guide," November 28, 2016, accessed December 18, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Hitchhikers-Guide-to-the-Galaxy/.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy | Chapter 14 | Summary

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Summary

That night, everyone but Arthur Dent has trouble sleeping. Somehow, it seems too many coincidences have occurred to bring the four travelers together. Trillian spends some time watching her last and only links with Earth: two white mice. Zaphod Beeblebrox is troubled by a pattern to events that he senses but cannot see. Ford Prefect is merely excited by the prospect of knocking about the Universe again after his years of confinement on Earth.

Trillian goes to the bridge to check on things and, in a while, taps on Zaphod's door. She thinks they just found what he has been looking for. Ford finds them on the bridge a few minutes later, eagerly staring at a series of galactic coordinates flickering on a screen. Then calling up the external monitor screens, the three travelers stare out on a blank piece of space—blank because the ship has entered a dark cloud of dust called the Horsehead Nebula that blocks out the stars. In answer to Ford's question, "What's so great about being stuck in a dust cloud," Zaphod rotates the screen view and shows him a planet. Astonished but still uncomprehending, Ford asks, "What is it?" Zaphod replies, "That is the most improbable planet that ever existed."

Analysis

The chapter hints heavily that the events so far are not as random as they seem. The crew of four feels it. Some force is at work that they can sense but not identify.

It seems that all along Zaphod Beeblebrox has had an ulterior motive for stealing the Heart of Gold. He's been looking for a planet that is, of course, the most improbable planet that ever existed. Its location is inside a cloud of gas and dust in outer space called a nebula. This particular nebula is found in the constellation of Orion, about 1,500 light-years from Earth, and is shaped like a horse's head—hence the name Horsehead Nebula. It's also known as Barnard 33.

As everyone but Arthur Dent remains awake, unable to sleep, each engages in an activity that foreshadows things to come. Trillian plays with two white mice brought from Earth. Zaphod ponders the vague feeling of being not all there. Ford Prefect, while excited to be traveling again, is troubled by something faintly odd about his semi-cousin. Why has Zaphod gotten himself elected Galactic President and then abandoned the post to steal a starship?

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