The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy


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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Chapter 33 Summary & Analysis

Without warning, the cops’ guns go silent. Gradually emerging from behind their protective wall, Zaphod, Ford, Trillian, and Arthur discover that the cops have died because “the tiny life-support system computer” on their space suits has malfunctioned (these cops are methane-breathing creatures that can’t survive on Magrathea). “Let’s get shot of this hole,” says Zaphod. “If whatever I’m supposed to be looking for is here, I don’t want it.” Saying this, he grabs one of the cops’ guns and shoots a computer before making off with his friends in an aircar parked nearby—this, Arthur recognizes, is Slartibartfast’s vehicle. When they get inside, he finds a note affixed to one of the buttons. “This is probably the best button to press,” the note reads.
Like the mice—who have finally given up trying to find the Ultimate Question—Zaphod decides to stop pursuing whatever it is he has been looking for on Magrathea. As such, the majority of the novel’s characters begin to embrace the idea of living in uncertainty. This ethos of uncertainty is further illustrated by Slartibartfast’s note, which suggests with a degree of ambiguity that Arthur should press a certain button on the aircar’s console.
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