The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy


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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

Arriving at the pub, Ford orders six pints of beer—three a piece for Arthur and himself. “And quickly please,” he tells the bartender. “The world’s about to end.” He then turns his attention to Arthur, telling him to drink the three pints quickly. He claims that Arthur is going to need the beer in his system as a muscle relaxant. “How would you react if I said that I’m not from Guildford after all, but from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse?” he asks. Arthur merely shrugs, saying, “I don’t know. Why, do you think it’s the sort of thing you’re likely to say?” Ford doesn’t respond to this, instead telling Arthur to drink up and repeating that the world is about to end. “This must be a Thursday,” Arthur mutters. “I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”
The difference between Ford and Arthur’s attitudes is quite distinct in this scene. This makes sense, obviously, since Ford knows that the world is about to end, whereas Arthur simply thinks he’s having an off day. Still, there is some overlap in their respective outlooks. Ford, on the one hand, has clearly resigned to the idea that Earth is about to be destroyed. Similarly, Arthur has adopted an apathetic outlook to everyday life, merely complaining that Thursdays are particularly difficult to “get the hang of.” In both cases, each man invests himself in the idea that things are beyond his control, and that there’s no use trying to rise above hardship.
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