Study Guide

Majikthise and Vroomfondel in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

By Douglas Adams

Majikthise and Vroomfondel

The Philosophers

Did someone say "foolish and absurd"? That means it must be time to discuss the philosophers from Cruxwan University. Majikthise is the older and slightly less ridiculous one; Vroomfondel is the younger and totally ridiculous one—he's the one who makes demands about what his name is, and he's the one who is otherwise confused about the relationship between demands and facts.

Vroomfondel sums up the ridiculousness of their position nicely when he says, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" (25.68). That's like asking for dry water, which is an impossibility. (Although with the Infinite Improbability Drive, maybe we could get some dry water.) On top of that, though, it shows the way some academic types can get it all wrong by insisting that everything can be rigidly classified. How, exactly, can you "rigidly define" doubt and uncertainty?

Majikthise and Vroomfondel are a lot like Benjy mouse and Frankie mouse: they look like serious thinkers, but really they are just funny, absurd, or—depending on how you feel when you're reading—sad. They may come on to the scene sounding important, but by the time they leave, they're just interested in what they can get out of the situation. When the narrator reminds us that "they turned on their heels and walked out of the door and into a lifestyle beyond their wildest dreams" (25.84), we understand that it's not about truth and exploration. It's just about money.