An Analysis Of Consider The Lobster By David Foster Wallace

1398 Words 6 Pages
“Consider the Lobster” boils down to the treatment and sensitivity of lobsters. In August of 2004, a satirical and forthright account of the Maine Lobster Festival (MLF) was published in Gourmet Magazine. At first glance, it is a routine portrayal of the wonders of a popular festival. Upon closer inspection, however, it becomes evident that David Foster Wallace does not sing the festival’s praises or provide insider tips. In spite of his unconventional viewpoint, he does more than delve into the history of lobsters and question the way they are prepared; he uses the festival as a vessel to allude to the commonplace atrocities and overlooked injustices in American culture. In his derisive article, Wallace explores the moral and ethical implications …show more content…
Wallace developes his appeal logos by following his questions with reasoning and adding in objective phrases such as, “before we go any further,” “of course,” and “in any event.” On page 60, Wallace poses the question, “Is it alright to boil a sentient creature alive just for our gustatory pleasure?” Over the next several paragraphs, he develops his reasoning. He starts with discussing People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA’s views, moves on to his cab partner’s opinion, describes the unpleasant process of preparing lobster, and then delves into what scientifically constitutes pain. In other words, he presents two opposing arguments and then his own opinion, followed by proven science. The order of his reasoning is subtle, but it appeals to the logic of most humans, who would likely have a similar thinking process. Giving four different “opinions” on his question serves to give well-rounded consideration to all possible standpoints without specifically stating his own, leaving an opportunity for the reader to develop his own. Wallace adds onto his appeal to logic by adding simple statements of fact. One prominent example of this is on page 64. “Still, after all the abstract intellection, there remain the facts of the frantically clanking lid, the pathetic clinging to the edge of the pot.” This example is representative of Wallace’s …show more content…
Correlating MLF and lobsters to society and it’s complications, Wallace makes a subtle advance toward enlightened thinking. Using appeals to pathos, ethos, and logos, and confident diction, he explores moral dilemmas. The article incites a common thought from all who have the pleasure of reading it: how does America, and perhaps the world, define and deal with problems regarding

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