Before reading the article I assumed David Foster Wallace’s “Consider the Lobster” would simply be a short blurb explaining about the Lobster fair in Maine. I was not too thrilled being that I hate lobsters and everything about them weirds me out.
In this lengthy piece, he began to describe the scenery and location. I quickly pictured a smelly crowded place next to water with little kids running around. A fair with funnel cakes is one thing, but a group of people consuming seafood personally sounded like a nightmare to me. Just looking at the picture at the beginning of the article, I had already figured out that I myself would not be able to attend, ever, however i continued to read.
After a quick history and background of the festival, the article took a shift. Though he was reporting the facts, you could tell, this was not exactly his type of place. (Here, I think the footnotes really helped, stating how his family wanted no mention and how clearly, he is one to complain.) After explaining to readers what a lobster is, though I am sure we all know, he lists a few recipe’s to try. I am sure this is what readers thought they would be viewing since it is a gourmet food magazine.
Slowly losing interest, I still continued to read. However, then he begins to talk about the cooking of lobsters in a different way. Describing them as living things, something most of us do not like to consider when we eat our food. While depicting the scratching and clawing to get out as they are boiled to death. Shuddering, i pushed on and continued to read. (Though i do not eat them, I hear that the shriek when you drop them in boiling hot water, and they rattle around so to continue to hear about it made me cringe.)
Though he did not intend to give PETA like views and conditions, it ended up being that way and I am sure, he ruined the fair for many people. Simply by viewing his surroundings and keeping note of his thoughts, Wallace took an essay that would have been a summary, and made it into something else. Though, i do not think he originally thought all the gruesome and dark details would have made it through editing, he was talking about his experience and views of the place.