Study Guide

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Awe and Amazement

By Douglas Adams

Awe and Amazement

The galaxy in Hitchhiker's Guide is a pretty amazing place, full of binary stars, vast empty spaces, and aliens that want to destroy your world—which is actually a giant computer. There may even be one or two times where Adams describes something amazing without turning it into a joke, which may be the most amazing thing of all. Now, it's easy to be amazed by a universe so absurd that it will never be comprehensible. Awe is the appropriate response to recognizing how tiny and unimportant you are to the galaxy—or at least one appropriate response, since, as we've seen, the same information might make you sad or depressed.

Questions About Awe and Amazement

  1. How do characters react to amazing things? What other feelings are involved in awe—horror, fear, wonder, hope, hunger?
  2. Who is most amazed by the universe? Is it Arthur, who is new to it all? Do you have to be new to something to be amazed by it? When are the other characters amazed?
  3. Is there anything amazing (or unbelievable) about the characters' relationships? Do any of these relationships not make sense to you?
  4. Was there anything you were amazed at in this book?

Chew on This

Adams doesn't let the characters be amazed for long since amazement isn't laugh-out-loud funny.

The smarter a character is in Hitchhiker's, the more they get amazed.