Consider the Lobster Essay

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Topics: Lobster, Writing
When I first read the title of the story, my mind went in all directions as to what it could be about, besides the 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 have to go through to be finally served to the crowd at the festival. So the heart of the article is: do lobsters feel pain when they are being boiled alive? The latter could objectively be a very interesting question, even a philosophical one. Nevertheless, to me more interesting one was how Gourmet felt about Wallace’s writing? According to wikipedia, Gourmet is a magazine that publishes articles on food, recipes by magazine, recipes submitted or requested by readers. It seems that what they printed about the festival and lobsters’ sufferings was likely unprecedented in the magazine’s history. That’s why it’s interesting to know did Gourmet magazine know what it was going to get when it asked Wallace to cover the Maine Lobster Festival? On the other hand, they might have known that Wallace would subvert his assignment into some complicated rhetorical exercise and hired him to write about his festival experience purposefully. So was it author’s courage to cover the festival in such an extraordinary way, or he was expected to write something like that? Anyway, he empathizes with the editor of Gourmet magazine due to the length of the manuscript he turned in vs. the length of what a magazine article should be in his footnotes. By the way, the text is heavy with footnotes and notes regarding the footnotes. The scattered locations and lengths of the

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