The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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Mr. Prosser is a British construction foreman on earth. Mr. Prosser is tasked with demolishing Arthur Dent’s house to make way for a new bypass. Before he can do so, though, Arthur lies down in front of his bulldozer. A rather weak-willed man who is a (surprising) descendent of the fearless Genghis Khan, Prosser is unable to convince Arthur to move. In fact, he himself ends up lying in front of the bulldozer after Ford Prefect arrives and convinces him to take Arthur’s place while he and Arthur go to the pub. Ford tricks him into doing this by pointing out that, if Prosser is planning on staying there all day and waiting for Arthur to move, then it should be “all the same” if Arthur isn’t actually there. Not wanting to show his confusion, Prosser agrees to this, tentatively lying down in the mud and allowing Arthur and Ford to slink off to the pub.

Mr. L. Prosser Quotes in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. L. Prosser or refer to Mr. L. Prosser. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Meaninglessness and Happiness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy published in 1979.
Chapter 1 Quotes

The word bulldozer wandered through his mind for a moment in search of something to connect with.

The bulldozer outside the kitchen window was quite a big one.

He stared at it.

“Yellow,” he thought, and stomped off back to his bedroom to get dressed.

Passing the bathroom he stopped to drink a large glass of water, and another. He began to suspect that he was hung over. Why was he hung over? Had he been drinking the night before? He supposed that he must have been. He caught a glint in the shaving mirror. “Yellow,” he thought, and stomped on to the bedroom.

Related Characters: Arthur Dent (speaker), Mr. L. Prosser (speaker)
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very fast. People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are often given to wonder what’s so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to get there, and what’s so great about point B that so many people from point A are so keen to get there. They often wish that people would just once and for all work out where the hell they wanted to be.

Related Characters: Arthur Dent, Mr. L. Prosser
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:

“But Mr. Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.”

“Oh yes, well, as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything.”

“But the plans were on display…”

“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”

“That’s the display department.”

“With a flashlight.”

“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”

“So had the stairs.”

“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”

“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.’”

Related Characters: Arthur Dent, Mr. L. Prosser
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

“So all your men are going to be standing around all day doing nothing?”

“Could be, could be…”

“Well, if you’re resigned to doing that anyway, you don’t actually need him to lie here all the time do you?”

“What?”

“You don’t,” said Ford patiently, “actually need him here.”

Mr. Prosser thought about this.

“Well, no, not as such…” he said, “not exactly need…”

Prosser was worried. He thought that one of them wasn’t making a lot of sense.

Ford said, “So if you would just like to take it as read that he’s actually here, then he and I could slip off down to the pub for half an hour. How does that sound?”

Related Characters: Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Mr. L. Prosser
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy PDF

Mr. L. Prosser Character Timeline in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. L. Prosser appears in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Improbability, Impossibility, and Absurdity Theme Icon
The construction foreman, Mr. L. Prosser, is not thrilled to see Arthur lying in front of his bulldozer. Adams describes him... (full context)
Meaninglessness and Happiness Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
Arthur assures Prosser that he’s willing to stay in front of the bulldozer for a long time. “This... (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
Knowledge and Exploration Theme Icon
Mr. Prosser insists that the plans for this bypass have been “available in the local planning office... (full context)
Knowledge and Exploration Theme Icon
...he [can] find.” By the time Ford reaches Arthur’s house on this particular Thursday morning, Prosser has already tried a number of techniques to get Arthur out of the way, and... (full context)
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...they simply must drink—and quickly, too. Arthur refuses, saying he has to stay so that Prosser doesn’t knock down his house, but Ford insists that he has to tell him “the... (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
Improbability, Impossibility, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
Ford walks over to Prosser to convince him that he shouldn’t knock down Arthur’s house in their absence. “Has Mr.... (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
Improbability, Impossibility, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Language and Communication Theme Icon
...[drink] yourself later on, we can always cover for you in return,” Ford says to Prosser. “Thank you very much,” Prosser says, confused but unwilling to admit it. “So,” Ford concludes,... (full context)
Chapter 3
Meaninglessness and Happiness Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
Knowledge and Exploration Theme Icon
...probably just your house being knocked down.” Looking outside, Arthur sees that Ford is right: Prosser has started demolishing his home. As Arthur leaps out of his seat, Ford urges him... (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
Improbability, Impossibility, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Knowledge and Exploration Theme Icon
...lungs, he fails to notice that the construction workers have started fleeing their bulldozers. Mr. Prosser, for his part, is staring into the sky at one of the “huge yellow somethings.”... (full context)