I need help writing a thesis for a 12 page essay on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxay by Douglas Adams. I am a high school junior and science and math are my strong points.  This is one of my...

I need help writing a thesis for a 12 page essay on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxay by Douglas Adams. 

I am a high school junior and science and math are my strong points.  This is one of my favorite books and I understand the satire, symbolism, & historical context of the book, but I am having trouble pinning down and writing a solid thesis for my paper.  Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated. 

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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A great place to start when trying to come up with a thesis statement for a work of literature is to pick one of the work's themes and use that to build a thesis statement. If we carefully examine the themes and relate them to your scientific interest, perhaps one of the most appropriate that we can identify is that of absurdity. This is a text where things are deliberately shown to happen randomly without any cause and effect. This is mostly thanks to the Improbability Drive on the Starship Heart of Gold. If we just think about the absurdity as a result of this Improbability Drive for one moment, we can see that the Heart of Gold rescues Dent and Prefect from a sure death in space only because it is improbable that this could occur. Ford turns into a penguin, the bridge of the ship is redecorated with plants and mirrors, and a whale magically appears above Magrathea. These improbable events occur alongside characters who are struggling for reason, making their absurdity even more notable.

The text therefore seeks to present what we see as a world characterised as reason as actually being characterised by absurdity. It does this through challenging our notions of what we know and accept as fact. Note how the planet earth is presented:

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

The absurd nature of man is confirmed through use of adjectives such as "unfashionable," "utterly insignificant" and "ape-descended." Reason is shown to be a much weaker force than absurdity. A good thesis statement might therefore be:

In The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, absurdity is shown to be the governing force of the universe.

This thesis statement would allow you to explore further the presentation of absurdity and how it contrasts with the struggle to maintain reason in the face of that absurdity. Good luck!

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