The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Chapter 32 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
“Emergency! Emergency!” a voice blares over Magrathea. “Hostile ship has landed on planet. Armed intruders in section 8A. Defense stations, defense stations!” As Arthur and his friends slip away, Benjy and Frankie complain to each other about their predicament, deciding that their only option is to formulate a “fake” question that sounds “plausible.” After thinking for a moment, Frankie suggests, “How many roads must a man walk down?” Benjy likes this, and the two mice begin to celebrate. Meanwhile, Arthur and his friends are now half a mile away, running down corridors and hallways and trying to escape. The “intruders” that have landed on Magrathea are “cops” trying to arrest Zaphod for stealing the Heart of Gold. Having cornered the group (who hides behind a wall), the cops yell at Zaphod to emerge, shooting all the while.
To Frankie and Benjy, the truth no longer matters. Even they—hyperintelligent pandimensional beings obsessed with finding the Ultimate Question—have tired of their otherwise relentless investigations into the nature of life. This suggests that such pursuits are inherently fatiguing. Individuals can toil for entire lifetimes—or, in this case, millennia—and still get no closer to fully understanding “everything” about “life” and the “universe.” Instead of continuing their studies, then, Frankie and Benjy simply want to find some happiness doing something fun, like becoming famous.
Themes
Meaninglessness and Happiness Theme Icon
Knowledge and Exploration Theme Icon