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. 24 Feb. 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 February 24, 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 February 24, 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 February 24, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Hitchhikers-Guide-to-the-Galaxy/.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy | Chapter 15 | Summary

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Summary

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy provides the following information about the planet Magrathea:

The long-ago days of the former Galactic Empire were a time of great deeds as mighty starships traversed galactic space seeking adventure. Many men throughout the galaxy became exceedingly rich. Eventually, for the richest, life became dull, and they became increasingly unhappy with whatever planet they inhabited. Out of this dissatisfaction, a new, extravagant industry was born: custom-made luxury planet building. Magrathea was the home of this industry and built dream planets to match the wildest imaginings of its wealthy clients. Magrathea soon became the richest planet of all time, however, while the rest of the galaxy became more and more impoverished. When the system inevitably broke down, the Galactic Empire collapsed, and Magrathea disappeared. In time, memory of the planet became a legend that no one believes in enlightened times.

Analysis

In another book-within-a-book entry, background is provided on the extraordinary planet of Magrathea. Because this follows Zaphod Beeblebrox's announcement that he has found the most improbable planet that ever existed, there's a strong possibility that he has been looking for Magrathea. The question is Why? The entry also foreshadows a revelation later regarding the origins of Earth.

In creating the legend, Adams parodies the grand language of adventure that celebrates a time (pre-1970s feminism) "when men were men and women were women," and of course "small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri." He also has fun with the well-known opening credits to the popular 1970s television series, Star Trek. The credits announce that the starship Enterprise's mission is "to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before." Language purists contend that the final phrase should read "to go boldly where no man has gone before," in order to avoid splitting the infinitive to go with the word boldly. They frown upon splitting infinitives anytime, anywhere, and plug their ears to the rhythm or poetry it may add to this phrase or any other. Adams seems to agree, and satirizes the line. Heroes of the legendary Galactic Empire "all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before—and thus was the Empire forged."

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