The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Topics for Discussion
by Douglas Adams

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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Why does this book continue to be popular, especially among college students and adolescents?

2. Adams's humor has been described as both sophomoric and as brilliant. Decide which term best describes Adams's work and justify your opinion.

3. How effective is Adams's use of the technique of flashback in the novel?

4. What unresolved questions or conflicts in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy makes probable its sequel?

5. Compare and contrast Adams's portrayal of space alien creatures in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to those found in science fiction genre.

6. What science fiction cliches does Adams's satire target?

7. How does Adams sustain his generally upbeat and buoyant tone through the book?

8. What foibles of human nature does Adams take issue with in his book?

9. The space-age technology in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy may have seemed far-fetched and bizarre in 1980. Which of the inventions that Adams includes have appeared in society two decades later? How do you explain this seemingly prophetic materialization?

10. Some critics find the characters in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy interesting because of the way they react to challenging circumstances. Discuss each character's response to the attack by Magrathea's missiles.