Rhetorical Devices In Consider The Lobster

Decent Essays
Hong Yu
English (2B)
Mr. Kasper
Rhetorical Analysis of Consider The Lobster
In Consider The Lobster, David Foster Wallace raises an ethical question: “Is it right to boil a sentient creature alive just for our gustatory pleasure?” However, this essay is not to provide a definite answer to this question but lets the readers come up with their own answers. Wallace uses rhetorical strategies such as comparison, imagery, and questions to make the audiences think deep about the moral lens of consuming lobsters.
In this essay, Wallace uses pathos to show to the readers that lobsters are not what people think they are. In paragraph 5, Wallace says: “…lobsters are basically giant sea-insects”, and “it’s true that they are garbagemen of the sea, eaters of
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He writes: “The lobster will sometimes cling to the container’s sides or even to hook its claws over the kettle’s rim like a person trying to keep from going over the edge of a roof.” This imagery uses a simile that horrifies the readers because it lets the readers feel like that they are the lobsters, and they are being cooked. Wallace uses this sentence to place the readers in the lobsters’ position and let them experience the pain. Later on, Wallace also says: “the lobster, in other words, behaves very much as you or I would behave if we were plunged into boiling water.” By making the connection between lobsters and human, Wallace knows that this would change people’s opinion towards cooking lobsters. Connecting lobsters’ death to humans’ is an effective way of using pathos to make people think whether eating lobsters is an appropriate matter. This shows how human preferences leads to lobsters’ suffering. Wallace not only uses pathos to make the readers think whether eating lobster is the right thing to do but also uses ethos to make him more credible and thus readers will listen to his
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