Consider The Lobster Analysis

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“Consider the Lobster,” by David Foster Wallace, published in the August 2004 edition of Gourmet Magazine explores the morality of the consumption of lobsters through the analysis of the Maine Lobster Festival. Foster Wallace guides his readers through his exploration of the festival and general circumstances of lobster eating before evoking a sense of obligation to the creature’s well being. His gentle slide into the ‘big picture’ through his causal argument wades readers into the depths of his thoughts through the power of storytelling until they are left with no choice but to engage with their own perception of the act with skepticism. Ultimately, the passage commands readers to reexamine their own consumption of lobsters regardless of…show more content…
On page 60, footnote 8 compares the pegging/banding of lobsters’ claws to the debeaking of broiler chickens, the cropping of swines’ tails, and the dehorning of cattle. Recognizing that the reader will likely fail to see the impact of the banding, Foster Wallace provides the comparison of other similar practices that will likely be more promptly deemed unacceptable. Under footnote 14, Foster Wallace extends the comparison, driving the reader to understand the distinction made between the consumption of mammals and non-mammals that is notable in speech. When describing mammals as food, we use separate words to distinguish them as creatures and dishes, such as “cow” and “beef,” and “pig” and “pork.” However, non-mammals share the same names in the wild and on menus, such as “shrimp,” “salmon,” and “lobster.” Calling the reader out on this linguistic practice develops a sense of self awareness. Though hidden in the footnote, to avoid creating a tangent in the overall argument and worse falling to the counterargument that “it's just semantics,” Foster Wallace throws these pieces in as curveballs- evidence that a reader was unlikely to expect nor be prepared to process. While intentionally he intentionally trespasses’ the readers comfort zone of their own communication, he makes his article relate, if only through these footnotes, to the ways in which they’ve previously engaged with the matter. As Foster Wallace situates the reader in the moral conundrum, he draws from the them a greater awareness of self and skepticism of the multiple party’s motivations which contributes to the overall multidimensional analysis of the
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