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History in the

Making


E

ating lobster at a young age can be beneficial due to the richness and quality of the food. The first time I ate a lobster was my sister’s birthday a few years back. While vacationing at the local beach, my family went to a seafood restaurant for Mary Pat’s birthday dinner. Only knowing what certain fish were, lobster was my first choice. Not once had I eaten a lobster before, but this was a defining moment. I knew the lobster had to be good because of the expensive price. When the lobster came, my face lite up. The steamy red shell and the smell of butter made my senses go wild. There comes a time when one has to learn how to eat a lobster. I was taught that day how to position my hands and crack open the shell. Eating lobster was a delectable meal with my family. There comes a time in Wallace’s Consider the Lobster, when one can no longer ignore the clear fact that Wallace was one bizarre guy. His writing is all over the place and hard to follow. Wallace uses techniques that are suited for the writer rather than the reader, such as using long and drawn out examples rather than brief and to the point. For Wallace, the Maine Lobster Festival inspires a hardcore evaluation of the ethics of boiling an animal alive. The article highlights two specific mechanisms that people adopt when they are confronted with the reality of animal suffering are “avoidance and denial.” (Wallace, 7) However, Wallace is very controversial. He goes to the Maine Lobster Festival, yet he feels guilty for eating a lobster. Wallace also states he is against the “animal-cruelty-and-eating issue” and it makes him uncomfortable; yet, he expresses people cannot read into it.


One

can only imagine what is in the others and pain is a subjective experience. “Some colonies had laws against feeding lobsters to inmates more than once a week because it was thought to be cruel and unusual, like making people eat rats.” (Wallace, 6) It should not matter how different types of animals feel pain and why it might be reasonable to impose pain on them in order to eat the lobsters? It should not our place to judge. Another example of Wallace not making sense to the reader is at the very end of the article. Wallace utters he is selfish and eats certain kinds of animals because he likes it, but he likes lobster so why is it even necessary to state that fact.

For example, they are both hunters and scavengers. These crustaceans are equivalent to steak according to U.S. pop-food imagination. Lobsters make delectable meals. The different dishes Wallace describes are appetizing, such as lobster turnovers and Down East lobster salad. The lobster has a unique cooking style, because it can be steamed, baked, grilled, broiled, sautéed, stir-fried, or microwaved. Wallace

gives the reader directions. When one cooks a lobster, one thing many people do not realize is that the lobster has to be alive. Often recipes leave that detail out because it is a turn off for those who cook. When one reads an argument, he or she has every right to question the writer’s authority. The question ‘what does he know about the subject?’ leaves me wondering. By David Foster Wallace making that comment, keeps the readers wondering if he is actually credible. Lobster is one of the few shellfish that does not require cleaning, or plucking; that doesn’t seem so selfish. The selfish part about “shellfish” is lobster’s expensive. People associate lobster with wealth; however, it was low-class food only eaten by the poor and recognized in the 1800s.


Some colonies had laws against feeding lobsters to inmates more than once a week because it was thought to be cruel and unusual, like making people eat rats.” (Wallace, 6) Lobster can often be the priciest item on a menu because of its freshness and high summer demand. The article appears to be researched due to the facts Wallace put into the piece. For example, “The name “lobster” comes from the Old English loppestre, which is thought to be a corrupt form of the Latin word for locust combined with the Old English loppe, which meant spider.” (Wallace, 3 ) The article also mentions an experiment that demonstrates that a lobster can identify a slight degree change in water temperature because they are bottom dwellers and do not like the light. Commonly known as bottom dwellers, the lobsters will usually congregate to the darkest parts of theas bottom dwellers, the lobsters will usually congregate to the darkest parts of the ocean.

When Wallace set the scene at “we’re coming in by cab from the almost indescribably odd and rustic Knox County Airport very late on the night before the Festival opens…” it is extremely unnecessary. He babbles on and on about a story that is irrelevant to the rest of the passage. Understandably, the “post-hippies” consultant’s recollections were activists from PETA, but that is unnecessary. It would make a difference for the better if that paragraph were eliminated. He uses social and cultural context to fulfill his “attempt” of an argument. From a cultural aspect, vegetarians could be considered their own little group. They cherish values related to being kind to animals. In this particular writing, Wallace does give an effort of positivity toward animals, but he eats the lobster anyway. The language to persuade his audience is foreign and detached. The passage is very difficult to follow because of all the bouncing around Wallace does.


The second to last paragraph opens with the words “lack of culinary sophistication”, not something one wants to hear after reading the 10-page article about food. Sometimes writers are not good or comfortable writings about certain issues or matters, and Wallace’s issue is not “lobsters.” “Given the (possible) moral status and (very possible) physical suffering of the animals involved,” Wallace does not even realize if the concept of his article is moral or immoral. portion of his writing. Immoral means deliberately violating accepted principles of right and wrong. One should not feel guilty for eating a lobster. Arguments based on ethics, have more to do with the relationship with the writer and reader rather than the actual message. This does not represent “logos” in an effective way. Logos is based on facts and reason, but this is not so much the case. Wallace needs to work on the pathos portion of his writing.

This argument is not effective. I do not understand if the article is trying to persuade me to eat lobster, not to eat lobster, or go to the Maine Lobster Festival? The message is not clear. No argument can be effective unless it speaks well to the audience. The audience is more important than the story because who is going to read the article? It is the people who read gourmet websites. Without the readers there would be no point to writing the article in the first place. The purpose of any argument is to use evidence and reason to discover some version of the truth. What is the truth? David Foster Wallace was a very peculiar writer and I am assuming a very outlandish person.



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