Consider the Lobster is a topic initially looks like an environmental issue that is being covered by the media as it slowly progresses into an exhaustive and interesting article that captivates the interests of the readers very quickly. The audience of Wallace, especially for this particular piece of writing is rather exhaustive as the people addressed are gourmet food lovers, food scientists, animal activists, social activists, as well as chefs.
‘Consider the Lobster’ is an article in which Wallace brings up a topic the need for morality and humanity with respect to animal abuse. Similar to the minorities dwelling in the United States, Lobsters are animals that are possibly in the lowest tier of the animal society. The primary theme that Wallace highlights in this article is the extent of inhumanness with which animals are abused for the mere fulfillment of human pleasures and desires. Consumption of animals might be a socially acceptable thing, but is it really ethical or does it really portray moral behavior on the human self? This is exactly the question that Wallace seeks to answer through this article.
The essay opens with a description of the Maine Lobster Festival (MLF) that is held in the month of July every year in the mid-coast region of Maine. MLF is an annual tradition – a lobster food festive that takes place in Maine. The main idea behind this food festival is that people from various places of the world throng Maine to feast on the huge variety of lobsters available during MLF. While this aspect of huge crowds feasting on lobsters being primary to the whole celebration, the actual element that really requires some thought to be given is where a cook has a live counter where he boils lobsters in front of the whole crowd.
People normally shrug off even at such action because they feel that it is just an animal or species that people love eating and which tastes great. At this point, Wallace offers a definition to what lobsters actually mean, which goes as – “A crustacean is an aquatic arthropod of the class Crustacea, which comprise crabs, shrimps, barnacles, lobsters, and freshwater crayfish. The point is that lobsters are basically giant sea insects.not nice to look at. They’ll eat some live shellfish, certain kinds of injured fish, and sometimes one another (Wallace, 237).”
One can see a number of undeveloped topics that emerge as the article progresses. The language used by Wallace throughout the article is extremely simple in nature and is more a colloquial language. The primary objective behind Wallace using such a simple language is to appeal to the demographics of his readers. A slightly complex language would not have retained the simplicity and lightheartedness of the article, which in its current state is a highly enjoyable read for people of all ages.
Although simplistically presented with the use of highly colloquial language, Wallace has succeeded in making the article highly descriptive as well. This exhaustive description and creative is evident from the first few sentences of the article’s opening paragraph as they instantly capture the reader’s interest and keep then engaged throughout the article.
As already mentioned earlier, the audience for Wallace are a broad set of people comprising of those belonging to various fields of study and research. He brings up a number of questions which are highly thought-provoking in nature and which forces the readers to answer to their own self-conscience. For instance, at one point, Wallace brings up the following question:
‘Do they ever think about their reluctance to think about it? After all, isn’t being extra aware and attentive and thoughtful about one’s food and its overall context part of what distinguishes a real gourmet? Or is all the gourmet’s extra attention and sensibility supposed to be aesthetic, gustatory (Wallace, p. 247)?’
There are a number of similar questions that Wallace brings up, which makes the readers give a serious thought about the author’s motives behind writing this article and ultimately inspires the readers to think about the level of morality and humanity on their part, with respect to animal abuse. Wallace structured and positioned all such questions towards the end of his essay in order to leave a lasting impact on the minds of his readers and ponder on the plethora of issues that he brings up during the course of the article.
One of the most interesting aspects that really stands out is the way in which Wallace presents the visual image of the lobster that the chef cooks in the live counter by putting it in boiling water, in front of the whole crowd that gathers at the MLF. This image is extremely clear as it gives a live experience of being present at that place and also experience the process of gourmet lobster cooking. This visual appeal that Wallace creates is extremely disturbing in nature.
Wallace, David Foster. Consider the Lobster: Essays and Arguments. London: Hachette Digital, 2006. Web. 04 February 2016. <https://books.google.co.in/books?id=r3K6qSy-1mkC&printsec=frontcover&dq=consider+the+lobster+critical+analysis&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiK1Pqr9d3KAhUXj44KHRCyAJ0Q6AEIGzAA#v=onepage&q=consider%20the%20lobster%20critical%20analysis&f=false>.