Consider the Lobster and Other Essays is a collection of essays by novelist David Foster Wallace. The title comes from an essay Wallace wrote in 2004 for the magazine Gourmet, and alludes to the M. F. K. Fisher novel Consider the Oyster. The title is interesting because it suggests the lobster is more like a steak than a meat. And the essay explores the metaphors and logic Wallace uses to explain lobster behavior.
Arguments for eating lobster
In Arguments for Eating Lobster, David Foster Wallace makes an ethical case for eating lobster. This is not an attack on meat, however. While meat is essential to life, it is not inherently unethical. In fact, eating meat may keep us healthy and prevent many diseases. However, the author argues that there are ethical arguments for and against eating lobster. To understand why he has made these points, it helps to understand the history of lobster and the lobster industry.
As an animal lover, I believe that lobsters are not human. The Maine Lobster Festival supports the theory that lobsters have simple nervous systems. Moreover, they are classified as Arthropoda, whereas humans are in the Chordata family. Therefore, eating lobster is ethically questionable. Furthermore, if the animal is not human, why do we eat it? The answer is simple: lobsters are similar to insects and small animals.
Metaphors used by David Foster Wallace in essay
In this essay, I argue that “Consider the Lobster” by David Foster Wallace should be read through the lens of Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener.” This book is full of metaphors for human society, including capitalism, genocide, and ecology. But I also argue that Wallace is in a moral dilemma by not taking a strong political stance in his essay.
The first metaphor Wallace introduces in this essay is the fact that lobsters feel pain and are alive. Wallace wants the audience to feel sympathy for lobsters, which are often boiled alive and dismembered before being eaten. The comparison to cows is particularly effective because we feel guilt for cows, but we do not feel the same way toward lobsters. As a result, Wallace ties the lobster festival to hypocrisy. While we find mass slaughter of animals horrifying, we don’t see a similar festival celebrating lobsters.
While Wallace is trying to convey emotion through the use of metaphors, his main goal is to make the reader sympathize with lobsters. His use of pathos and logos allows him to persuade his audience of his beliefs. But how does he do it? The answer lies in his exposition. In other words, he explains why lobsters experience pain as a preference rather than a dislike.
Comparing lobsters to steak
When you read Comparing Lobsters to Steak by David Foster Wallace, you may start to think twice about how you cook lobsters. Wallace makes a powerful argument that lobsters are sentient and feel pain, much like people do. He uses the example of a cook grilling a lobster to illustrate that he’s comparing the treatment of a living creature to that of a dead cow. It may seem like an extreme example, but it is actually quite effective, and Wallace’s argument carries great weight.
Until the 1800s, lobsters were considered low-class food. They were mainly eaten by poor people and institutionalized people. In fact, some colonies banned inmates from being fed lobster more than once a week. People found the process of eating a live lobster inhumane, and Wallace argues that we should respect the history of this type of animal. However, Wallace also makes a very valid point that eating a lobster is cruel.
Logic used by David Foster Wallace to explain lobster’s behavior
In “Wallace’s Lobster,” author David Foster Wallace debunks the myth that lobsters do not feel pain and are therefore incapable of feeling pain. This myth has enabled the poor treatment of lobsters, such as boiling and microwaving them alive, and also led to the widespread consumption of live lobsters in Europe. However, the logic Wallace uses to explain lobster behavior is controversial.
First, Wallace employs a number of techniques in his attempt to influence the reader. Using various examples to evoke emotion, he hopes that his audience will be moved to sympathize with the lobsters. In doing so, Wallace successfully persuades his audience to share his beliefs about lobsters. Second, Wallace uses both logos and pathos to persuade his readers.
Wallace makes many allusions to Melville’s classic work, Bartleby the Scrivener. His references to Bartleby have been extensively tracked by critics and are often difficult to read. He refers to the Holocaust in multiple places, and these references are difficult to read without a sneering tone. In addition, Wallace’s allusion to Melville’s text is especially jarring when read in the context of the Frankfurt School, whose melioristic take on capitalism has been criticized by critics.