The Significance of Ford Prefect in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Significance of Ford Prefect in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

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Ford Prefect is a remarkable, elemental figure of comic relief in the novel, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a sci-fi by the legendary Douglas Adams. An adventuring hitchhiker through space, he and his best friend, Arthur Dent, embark on a quest to find the purpose of the universe. He brings out the humor and a broader view of events in the novel, and is the only other protagonist apart from Arthur who endures mostly the same problems, and yet his approach to these problems and witty characteristics are what makes him a very different character. He is Arthur's closest companion, the writer and presenter of the Guide to the Galaxy. He is wise, buoyant and levelheaded. Thus, he is the main hitchhiker in the novel, and brings about a sense of sheer dramatic irony and humor into the story amidst a tangled plot.
Firstly, Ford Prefect is an overall omniscient character - nothing can surprise him or shake his conscience. His home planet destroyed many years ago, he had been made to wander and explore the galaxy on his own, hitchhiking along the way. His experiences in space shape much of his character. This is revealed to us very early in the novel, when he arrives on the scene, warning everybody within hearing range that the world they lived on, Earth, is about to end. He feels the need to warn his best friend as well, and pulls him into the local bar in order to spill the news to him without shocking him with information. He often knows what will happen and how, and this is what makes him the utopian writer of the Guide to the Galaxy - having underwent many experiences, he is normally armed and ready for anything, and has a fearless disposition. He predicted the Vogon's reactions to hitchhiking intruders on their ship when th...


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...ly, "Ah. It's been demolished...It just boiled away into space." Ford remains a consistent character throughout while Arthur gains much experience and confidence from him.
Conclusively, Ford Prefect is a unique, preeminent character who is both funny, charming, composed and knowledgeable in contrast with the other characters in the story. He is the ingenious, commonsensical writer of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and acts as the personified version of the book itself. Nothing can shake his framework, and he effortlessly weaves in and out of trouble and conflict with confidence and optimism, making the worst situation seem less menacing. It's mostly due to him the book is such a comedy, from cover to cover, and he is certainly a memorable character from Adams's famous story.


Works Cited

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. 1979. 23/12/2013

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