Behind The Scenes: The Lobster Essay

1085 words - 4 pages - bitalkaline ✓ Expert Reviewed

David Foster Wallace, and award winning novelist, student of Harvard University, essayist, and professor, is the author of “Consider the Lobster,” which is an essay that was posted in Gourmet Magazine in 2004. This essay observes the yearly Maine Lobster Festival and explains how it can and possibly is a violation of animal rights, but more specifically , lobster rights. The article has a very broad audience, which can include animal right activists, gourmet food eaters, lobster hunters, chefs, scientists, tourists who want to know about the festival, magazine readers, and even people who eat food. This is because of the fact that all of these people tie in together with eating or cooking lobster, which is the main idea of the annual festival. The class can be lower or middle class, for the people who catch and cook lobster, as well as upper class for the scientists and gourmet eaters who may eat lobster daily without knowing how they are killed. As Wallace goes more in depth with his thoughts and findings, he grasps the readers attention by mostly using footnotes, pathos, and makes the readers think about the questions he asks order to keep them informed and thinking to help process his thoughts about the Maine Lobster festival, lobster killing, and animal rights as a whole.
On every page of the article, there are footnotes at the bottom of the page, telling more of a story than actually giving definitions or clarifying things that may be confusing to the reader. Wallce uses this common technique very uniquely, automatically grabbing the readers attention just by using more footnotes than the common author.Some of the footnotes are not just facts, but are even stories or opinions of that he wrote. One example may be, “1. There’s a comprehensive native apothegm: ‘Camden by the sea, Rockland by the smell’” (Wallace 75). On a certain page in the essay, there are so many footnotes that it takes up almost half of Wallace’s writing, instead having Wallace make more comments than actually writing. With the authors footnotes, he is trying to explain what he is not putting in the text in order to evaluate what he is writing more, just in case the reader does not understand what he means. His opinions are in the footnotes because he did not want to add them into the story, thinking that would be causing confusion to the readers if he suddenly named a book title or expressed one of his off-topic opinions spontaneously. Wallace uses footnotes in a more efficient and objective manner, causing the audience to want to know more about his essay and go in depth and reading more of his opinions by reading his many footnotes.
In order to appeal to our emotions, Wallace uses pathos along with relatability to allow the reader to imagine how it would feel like to be a lobster. By using relatability, Wallace relates a human to a lobster and says, “If you're tilting it from a container into the steaming kettle, the lobster will sometimes try to cling to the...

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