Study Guide

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Chapter 11

By Douglas Adams

Chapter 11

  • But while we've been learning about science (sort of) in Chapter 10, look what's been going on in Chapter 11.
  • Zaphod and Trillian are in the control cabin of the Heart of Gold spaceship. Zaphod is upset that they've picked up hitchhikers since they are, you know, wanted by the police after the theft of this ship.
  • Trillian, meanwhile, is calmly reading off probability figures (which means the voice we heard in Chapter 9 was her voice). She adds that the ship picked the hitchhikers up by itself, which is very, well, improbable. That's the secret word of the book. Every time the book says "improbable," scream.
  • Zaphod and Trillian send the robot Marvin down to fetch the hitchhikers now that normality is restored. Marvin is a very depressed robot who doesn't want to do anything, which we totally relate to.
  • Then there's a little digression about how the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation tries to sell their robots.
  • Meanwhile, Arthur and Ford are checking out the spaceship's sales brochures.
  • Ford tries to tell Arthur how cool this whole spaceship is, especially because it comes with robots and computers with GPP: Genuine People Personalities.
  • And that's when Marvin enters and demonstrates how terrible GPP is. All the doors and elevators on the ship not only do their job but tell you how happy they are to do their job.
  • Marvin welcomes them to the Heart of Gold by telling them how terrible life is. He also adds that this spaceship was stolen by Zaphod Beeblebrox, which surprises Ford. But why? Curse these chapters and their cliffhangers.