Devices of Humor in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker Novels

Frendl, György
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In this thesis I wish to analyze Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979), a popular novel that is often labeled a comic science-fiction tale in the relevant criticism. Adams’ original novel is the first part of a pseudo-trilogy, which is comprised of two additional books: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980), Life, the Universe and Everything (1982), So Long and Thanks for all the Fish (1984) and Mostly Harmless (1992). All bearing titles that come out of the phrases and plotlines used and outlined in the first novel. My motivation in the choice of this topic was twofold: first, I immensely enjoyed reading the novel, and second, I was impressed by how Douglas goes against conventional formulas of the science fiction genre, renewing it in diverse ways. The analysis I propose focuses on the novel’s use of humor, and the way it mixes humor with the clichés of the science fiction genre. I will argue that Douglas’ originality is largely due to this unique mixture that he achieves by mingling humor and sci-fi fantasy.
humor, science fiction