Maine Lobster

492 Words2 Pages
Tourism is a big part of the world’s economy today. People wanting to experience different cultures through eating their food and attempting to live a day in someone else's shoes. In David Foster Wallace’s essay “Consider the Lobster”, he provides a thought provoking and funny commentary on american food tourism at the Maine Lobster Festival.
The main industries at the Maine Lobster Festival are lobster and tourism that are both at their peak during the summer season. To help put the scene into perspective, Wallace explains this event as “less of an intersection” of the two industries, but more of a “deliberate collision” (1). The idea of a car crash makes you think of a mess. Car parts sprawled about the road, masses of people and emergency
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Wallace describes the tent as a “square quarter mile of awning-shaded cafeteria” with very long lines and rows of tables where “friends and strangers alike sit cheek by jowl” (4). Many people come to the MLF to experience the food and culture of Maine, but do you really get this experience with being nearly on top of another person? To what point does it turn from cultural enlightenment to complete chaos? The idea of sitting there with your face stuck to another person's face sounds messy, gross, and extremely uncomfortable. Wallace wants us to feel gross and weirded out by the thought of it to help depict modern American food tourism. Wallace describes not only the MLF, but other food themed festivals as “a midlevel county fair with a culinary hook” (4). Many think that the MLF is posh and special because lobster is the main attraction. We don’t understand the real madness until Wallace addresses it. Since Wallace compares the festival to a midlevel county fair, we begin to understand how the MLF isn’t that special after all. He wanted us to understand that even if lobster is such a posh item, it won’t always be associated with posh events. As we read this quote, Wallace makes the reader think back to any county fair they have ever been to. They soon realize how even though his description of cheek to jowl earlier seems ludicrous and excessive, it is true. Wallace wants to bring out the flaws of not only the MLF, but other festivals and fairs, to help provide us with real life examples how how obnoxious American food tourism can really
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