Top-Rated Free Essay

Consider The Lobster

Good Essays
Consider the Lobster Analytical Summary
W131 Summer Work David Foster Wallace begins his article, Consider the Lobster, by describing the annual Maine Lobster Festival. He goes in to detail of the drive there, the events held there, what kind of people attend, and so on and so forth. While a good portion of this piece of text is about this event, his intentions were to focus on the treatment of the lobsters. He makes you think about what these creatures have to go through in order for this seemingly faultless festival to go on; how they are caught, how they are killed and prepared, and how they are served. The article wasn't writen to inform readers of what goes on in the kitchen, but rather to persuade them to consider his point of view. He says that he doesn't want to turn everyone into PETA members, but to be aware of what's really going on. He sticks to one side throughout the whole article and doesn't touch or coincide with both arguements. Wallace uses fairly simple, yet decriptive diction to describe his thoughts. The simplicity of the writing isn't just to appeal to all audiences. It also conveys how lighthearted this situation is to the general public. By keeping that tone, even throughout his arguement, it almost forces the readers' mind to consider the lobster as well. He starts out with intense descriptions of the scene to grab the readers' attention. Then as the piece goes on, he keeps many of the details very broad, going in to specifics only to make the event seem more real to his audience. On the third page of the article Wallace writes "A detail so obvious that recipes don't even bother to mention it is that the lobster is supposed to be alive when you put it in the kettle". Recipes don't mention this either because its so obvious or people just don't want to think about what they're actually doing, more than they have to. With this sentence, whether you want to or not, he's made you think about it. Even Wallace mentioned the uncomfortable and uneasy feeling he gets as he begins to think about the "animal-cruelty-and-eating issue" and how his own way of dealing with eating foods of similar origin, is to avoid thinking about it.On the fifth page at the near bottom, he writes "If you’re tilting it from a container into steaming kettle, the lobster will sometimes try to cling to the containers sides or even to hook its claws over the kettles rim like a person trying to keep form going over the edge of a roof". With this quote, he compares the lobsters to humans to appeal to the audiences' emotions. Wallace's visual image of the boiling of the lobster made me (and I am cetain I'm not the only one) feel as if it were me in the pot, which was quite disturbing and made me disagree with the cooking of lobsters. As most persuasive writings do, Wallace mentions the opposing arguments. He shares what the 2003 MLF program had to say. The quote he used supported the idea of cooking lobster as morally all right. It stated that animals do not have the part in their brain that humans do to experience pain. But Wallace overruled that statement with research of the nevous system. "Pain reception is known to be part of a much older and more primative system of nociceptors and prostaglandins that are managed by the brain stem and the thalamus." This quote basically reveals the truth that the MLF program failed to mention, a truth that would change the overall purpose of their section in the program. Another technique he used frequently was leaving the audience without answers. He opens his arguement with a series of questions to get the audience to veere their mind into his big idea. The questions Wallace asks in his writing never technically get answered, though. The questions are simply just disscused to give the reader new insights. On the last page, when Wallce wrote "Do they ever think about their reluctance to think about it? After all, isn’t being extra aware and attentive and thoughtful about one’s food and it’s overall context part of what distinguishes a real gourmet? Or is all the gourmet’s extra attention and sensibility supposed to be aesthetic, gustatory", he wanted to make sure to leave his readers with a lasting wonder to these ideas.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Consider the Lobster

    • 8373 Words
    • 25 Pages

    CONSIDER THE LOBSTER The enormous, pungent, and extremely well-marketed Maine Lobster Festival is held every late July in the state’s midcoast region, meaning the western side of Penobscot Bay, the nerve stem of Maine’s lobster industry. What’s called the midcoast runs from Owl’s Head and Thomaston in the south to Belfast in the north. (Actually, it might extend all the way up to Bucksport, but we were never able to get farther north than Belfast on Route 1, whose summer traffic is, as you…

    • 8373 Words
    • 25 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Consider the Lobster

    • 1712 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Escape From the Cave In his article “Consider the Lobster”, David Foster Wallace pointed out that the lobsters would suffer pain if cooked alive on the basis of many scientific materials about the lobster that announced by different organizations, trying to figure out if it is moral to cook the lobsters alive. Although he fell in an ethical dilemma at last, just as most people, struggling between the moral problem and the selfish interest in eating certain kinds of animal, he did not evade querying…

    • 1712 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Consider The Lobster D

    • 9230 Words
    • 82 Pages

    spinning boxes and squares that layer McCain that whether he's truly "for real" now depends is CONSIDER less on what is in his THE LOBSTER heart than on what might be in yours. Try to stay awake. 2000 THE pungent. ENORMOUS, and extremely well-marketed Maine Lobster Festival is held every late July in the state's midcoast region, meaning the western side of Penobscot Bay, the nerve stem of Maine's lobster industry. What's called the midcoast runs from Owl's Head and Thomaston in the south to Belfast…

    • 9230 Words
    • 82 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    In Consider the Lobster, David Foster Wallace discusses whether or not it is humane to boil lobsters alive just for people’s gustatory pleasure. Wallace’s attention is directed to people who read the Gourmet Magazine, such as higher class people who are interested in knowing what their eating and how it’s prepared. He uses various appeals to engage his audience, convince them into believing his argument and earn credibility. He goes into depth about the Maine Lobster Festival specifically to inform…

    • 832 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    obvious, lobsters. Although, in the first few passages the author talks about how smelly the Main Lobster Festival is, how hot the weather was, how long the lines were, and discusses lobster biology in great detail; with this start to his article you think you are going to read only about this festival and what it all entails. Almost like it is an advertisement to get people to show up. Instead, to my mind, Wallace’s purpose for his article was to get people to think about the lobsters, what they…

    • 577 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    were a newly ordained fan of Rachel Ray. Second, you had a strong opinion of the cupcakes at “Magnolia Bakery”. Third, you considered Wallace’s article in the Gourmet magazine to be utterly distasteful. David Foster Wallace’s article titled “Consider the Lobster” published in the August 2004 edition of Gourmet stirred a fair bit of discourse around the relevance of his opinions and the significance of the article being published as part of Gourmet, causing many gustatory connoisseurs to become dubitable…

    • 189 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    significant advancements and improvements in life, one must also consider how technology has hurt the environment. In the article “Which Species Will Live?” Michelle Nijhuis explains how technology has led to the important moral issue of whether or not to focus on saving one species at the cost of ignoring another and let it fall victim to extinction. David Foster Wallace’s article “Consider the Lobster” deals with the Maine Lobster Festival and shows how technology has led…

    • 1361 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Slotemaker December 1, 2014 Journal Entry In the essay, “Consider the Lobster,” David Foster Wallace describes what it is like to attend the Maine Lobster Festival. He also goes off on a tangent about the history of the lobster and how the delicacy has evolved. He not only describes the atmosphere but talks about the range of people attending, and how some of those attending raise the question of whether cooking a live lobster poses a moral dilemma (2004). The author of this essay…

    • 221 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    In Jonathan Safron Foer's essay “Let Them Eat Dog” and “Consider the Lobster” by David Foster Wallace, the voice the writer chose to exhibit is very conversational and casual. Wallace details the Maine Lobster Fest in almost photographic detail, being so precise that one can almost smell the lobster rolls and taste the butter on sticky fingers. He peppers his essay with surprising facts about the lobster business such as how lobster was originally eaten only by the very poor and institutionalized…

    • 1001 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    In “Consider the Lobster,” David Foster Wallace asks his readers to consider if eating lobsters or other animals is ethical. He describes how lobsters show a preference to not be boiled by their efforts to avoid or escape the pan. He argues that this preference is proof that the lobster suffers or feels pain. However, I can compose the same argument about plants. Grasses produce a chemical in distress right before they are cut from a lawnmower or attacked by insects. This shows that the grass has…

    • 1018 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays