In the article entitled “Consider the Lobster” written by David Foster Wallace, the author attempts to explore the ethical and moral issues pertaining killing lobsters prior to consumption. Wallace used a personal and reflective style that is deemed to be effective in enticing appeal to the target audience. From the writing style, the author was effective in applying rhetorical elements to present the intended message. The rhetorical element of logos, or logical appeal, was applied through the provision of facts, background overview, and scientific details regarding the lobster. Wallace initially asserted the rationale for the lobster’s evolving popularity as a delicacy. He included details including the scientific origin, as well as the family and class it belongs. In addition, Wallace traced the evolution of showcasing the lobster as part of the food festival including the different ways of cooking it, specifically at the Maine Lobster Festival.
Concurrently, Wallace used pathos, or emotional appeal to stir the readers’ interests. The author presented visual illustrations of the excitement, patronage, and chaos by narrating stories of participants in the events. When the question on ethical or moral concerns that emerged regarding boiling lobsters, as a means of cooking, Wallace used testimonies of people he reportedly encountered. There were moving narratives from the cab driver and activists from PETA regarding reflective perspectives on boiling lobsters alive. The robust description of the anatomy of the lobster’s brain, including parts which could feel the pain assisted in enticing empathy from the audience. Thus, the combination of logical and emotional appeals through the use of evidence and support assisted in stirring reflective thoughts from the readers.
The essay fits together through an effective presentation of facts, narrative details, testimonies, and balanced arguments. The concluding remarks were commendable in affirming that the author’s own sentiments regarding the morality of the presented issues finally resulted in utter confusion. As such, he was wondering whether the audience could have reacted and responded in much the same way as what was felt throughout the discourse.
One strongly agrees with the author regarding the hierarchy of relevance among humans and members of the animal kingdom. Accordingly, inasmuch as there could be ethical concerns which validate PETA’s contentions regarding cruelty in boiling the lobster alive, the fact remains that human beings are paramount. The food chain includes lobsters as part of the viable system. Therefore, people have more pertinent issues to resolve than thinking about how lobsters actually feel prior to being consumed or what their preferences are in their natural habitat. Regardless of the arguments presented in the article, one affirms that the information disclosed therein was effective in stirring varied responses and reactions from the readers. Thus, the author’s objective of exploring the morality of the presented issue was effectively attained. He used an interplay of rhetorical elements with supporting evidences from facts, logical reasons, narrative testimonies, and emotionally packed visual illustrations of contentions. In addition, Wallace enabled the productive flow of ideas, from his perspective. Concurrently, he also assisted in stirring reflective thoughts from the readers, in making the lobster the center of attention in the current discourse. The entire article was beneficial in enhancing knowledge about lobsters and reflecting on the possibility of thinking from their perspectives.