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What is the theme of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams?

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Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a very unique book. It's random, absurd, and very funny, but it also has very identifiable themes.  

One theme is politics. The state of political affairs in the book is a complete and utter mess, which sounds a bit like real life, actually. The book does a great job of showing readers how ridiculous politics can be. For example, the President of the Galaxy is a figurehead position with no real power. Its purpose is to turn attention away from the real sources of power. Further ridiculousness of the political powers that be is seen in those people's decision to bulldoze an entire planet to make room for a highway.  

As a science teacher, I also see science and scientific study as a theme. The book has some awesome technology. Machines that can build planets, intergalactic spaceships, and the Infinite Improbability Drive are all powerful tools of science and technology. What I like most of all about the book's scientific theme is that Adams shows his readers that, despite advanced technology, the people/ aliens don't always use technology for good or to its fullest potential. I believe that mirrors how science often happens today. Adams just takes it to the next level.  

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