Pain In David Foster Wallace's Essay 'Consider The Lobster'

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Author, David Foster Wallace, in his research essay, “Consider the Lobster,” states how the MLF or Main Lobster Festival is committing an act of animal genocide due to the fact that lobsters have nerve endings and can feel pain. Wallace’s purpose of writing this essay is to make the public aware of the Lobster’s pain while they are being boiled alive. Wallace provides an informative but somewhat demeaning tone in parts of the essay to provoke his argument and have his readers attempt to side with him.

Wallace attempts to utilize a lot of pathos in his essay to evoke our feelings for these amazing crustaceans. He bombards the reader rhetorical questions as he’s questioning his cab driver about the MLF, “at the World 's Largest
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There is, after all, a difference between (l ) pain as a purely neurological event, and (2) actual suffering, which seems crucially to involve an emotional component, an awareness of pain as unpleasant, as something to fear/dislike/want to avoid.” (Wallace 63) Wallace utilizes personification all throughout his essay in regards to Lobsters to evoke your pathos as I stated above. He utilizes this action to make you feel and understand what he is fighting for. His apathy towards the MLF and these poor lobsters. He uses “we” in regards to humans and lobsters and also, “to my lay mind, the lobster's behavior in the kettle appears to be the ex-pression of a preference; and it may well be that an ability to form preferences is the decisive criterion for real suffering. 18 The logic of this (preference suffering) relation may be easi-est to see in the negative case.” (Wallace 64) he expresses opinions of his imagery and personification of these creatures. His “expression of preference” in regards to the lobsters “expression of preference” is personifying the lobster to a being in which he is trying to protect. At this rate lobsters will be standing on two legs and holding strike signs. He is trying to prove his argument in a matter of appealing to our emotions and trying to envelope the same feelings he has towards these creatures. What cows, chicken, pork, offer to society is on a whole other level than what lobsters give to us and with the MLF it’s a one a year
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