Reading responese 4 - Assignment Example

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The essay titled Consider the Lobster written by David Forster Wallace is all about the inhumanities involved in both cooking and eating lobsters that are regarded as a delicacy all over the world. The essay was originally published in Gourmet, the culinary magazine, and was…
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Reading responese 4
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The essay d Consider the Lobster written by David Forster Wallace is all about the inhumanities involved in bothcooking and eating lobsters that are regarded as a delicacy all over the world. The essay was originally published in Gourmet, the culinary magazine, and was presented as the review of the Maine Lobster Festival. In short, the author of the essay under consideration touches upon the ethics of cooking, namely boiling a creature alive with the aim to please the consumer. Overall, there are two main themes the author develops in Consider the Lobster. The first one is human egocentrism. In fact, it follows from the title of the article itself that one of the themes deals with this very issue. The author of the article is supposed to review the Maine Lobster Festival for Gourmet magazine and its target audience and, by this, promote and advertise the festival. However, it is not his main agenda. Instead of promoting the festival, the author discusses the cruel ways of cooking a lobster in minor details, such as a discussion of sensory neurons of these crustaceans. In this regard, Wallace refers to people’s reasoning that they have a right to eat lobsters because the latter are much more primitive creatures. In addition to this, the author of the piece touches upon the notion of tourism, explores its essence and its influence on people engaged in this activity. More specifically, he claims that a person gains nothing from it and that the more people travel to a particular place the more this place is ruined by these people. In other words, Wallace believes that tourism has nothing to do with knowledge and learning more about the world and self.
One of the most notable things about Wallace’s piece under discussion is his use of footnotes. In fact, he changes this feature of academic writing into something more alive, meaningful and sense-bearing. Some of the foot notes do perform their initial, main task, which is to explain and comment a certain part of the text above it, such as the first one. However, the majority of them are designated to perform other tasks.
Wallace’s footnotes are essential to the story and reader’s understating of its tone and intentions of the author. They are the actual pieces of the text in which he doubts, criticizes and even asks questions. In fact, sometimes it even seems that it is not the text of the short story itself but the footnotes that contain the author’s main point on the issue. They are like a playwright’s remarks in a play that does not interfere with the entire structure of the piece.
In the piece, Wallace reports on the way lobsters are cooked in quite a detached manner. In the footnotes, however, he presents his personal thoughts on the issue. For instance, in the body of the essay, he writes, “they [lobsters] come up alive in the traps, are placed in containers of seawater […], while in the footnotes to this very piece, he speaks about ‘debeakening’ without anesthetic and other operations of the meat industry in terrible details (Wallace). In other words, it is in the footnotes that the author of the piece expresses what he really thinks of things he is talking about.
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Wallace, D. F. "Consider the Lobster." Gourmet. Aug 2004: 50-64. Print. Read More
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