Essence of literary device to convey the message in Consider the Lobster by David Foster
It is pertinent to understand that the author uses digression as a literary device. In this case, he deviates from the main subject, later festivity. However, since digression helps in the deviation from the central theme, it does not entirely veer off, but the other topic it touches on is closely related to the main issue. As such, David Foster uses digression to provide other thoughts that are slightly different from the ones he introduced to the audience previously. Also, he intended to use digression more to add several layers of the notion of complexity to provide more information on the primary topic. It is crucial to note that he returns to the issue after this brief deviation. As such, Wallace uses two types of digression throughout “Consider the Lobster.” Primarily, he uses footnotes to offer more information, which is not vital to the comprehension of the essay. For example, in footnote 12, the author tells the readers his reasons for returning to that airport. It gives the readers information on why he is in a position to have a chat with Dick at the location of the car rentals, anticipating. At the same time, it explains a question that the reader of the essay could be having, even though it has no relation whatsoever to the matter at hand, which is the issue of lobsters. The other footnotes in the essay are the digressions that add to his contention in more substantial ways. For instance, footnote 14 provides a situation whereby the author describes a context that concerns a video produced by PETA and is productive at providing proof that consumption of meat related to factory farming is not moral. Still, the sixth footnote explains Rockland’s economies and Camden’s and the author’s personal beliefs on the notion of tourism, essentially the two primary topics related directly to his assignment from Gourmet. It is important to note that footnotes play a vital role in ensuring that essays are more effective. The footnotes support the claim asserted in the essay and add more explanation (Wilson).
Also, it is vital to note that the author has used the metaphor, the simile, and the metaphor connection in this work of art. Often, a writer provides a metaphor closely followed by another and a simile closely followed by another. However, what is less common is that there is the case of a simile that follows a metaphor, and yet another different metaphor follows. Other rare occasions include the metaphor followed by a simile and the metaphor connection, in which case the comparisons to the subject are entirely unrelated. However, they can happen. For example, in the text, the author says, “…winter here is a pitiless bitch, but in the warm months Bloomington is a lot like a seaside community except here the ocean is corn” (Wallace 15). Also, the author uses such in the case of the lobsters’ hotly contested notion, which is widely acknowledged as a postulation that the lobsters do not feel any pain in preparation for meals. As such, the author uses similes to bring the relationship closer and ensure that the readers can associate the lobsters’ situation with the problems that humans go through every other day. As such, in the story, the author says, “Perhaps lobsters are more like those frontal-lobotomy patients one reads about who report experiencing pain in a different way than you and I” (Wallace 15). It is worthwhile to note that an incredibly productive use of the simile to advance the author’s message to the readers is when Wallace artfully pulls the reader into this scene by making them feel the smell when it occurs with a vivid description of the news studio. As such, it is virtually impossible for one not to sniff this aroma while reading the text. In this case, the author says, “…The oddest thing about the studio is a strong scent of decaying bananas as if many cast-off peels or even whole bananas were rotting in the room’s wastebaskets.” (Wallace 57). It is also crucial to understand that the most striking use of metaphor in this work of art that the author makes is intended to prove and describe the value that lobsters have in this society by likening it to Kafka’s description of the value that literature holds. As such, the author quotes the widely-famed Franz Kafka, “…a hatchet with which we chop at the frozen seas inside us” (Wallace 61). With this knowledge in mind, it is pertinent to note that it is a potent tool that the writer used, not for his own sake, but for the readers’. The author artfully used it to help the readers respond instinctively and emotively to this prose work of art. This usage of metaphorical language provides the readers with a clear and vivid impression of a situation where one needs something more than mere words can ever explain. It also adds to the beauty of the thing being spoken about. A metaphor is undoubtedly a psychological and literary technique that bolsters understanding a work of art. For Wallace, it was his way of using language to manipulate the readers’ response. Therefore, it can be seen that it has allowed him to control the perception of his text (“The Effect Of A Metaphor On Your Readers”). In this case, it also has the profound effect of relaying a thing to the readers in a way that casts a new ray of light on the subject that the author intends the audience to comprehend.
Furthermore, the author uses irony to advance the message for his audience. In this case, Wallace employs irony to enable the audience to pause and ponder the issues he is raising for them and emphasize the central idea he intends for the audience. As such, the role of the audience in cognizing the distinction between the mentioned topic and what is expected is crucial to irony’s successful use. In this case, for example, the author describes the mockery of the notion of moral arguments for the lobsters. The primary satire depicts two perspectives on the topic concerning lobsters. As such, irony is seen in the argument concerning whether it is immoral and unethical to cook the lobsters when they are alive, given the notion that they are in a position to feel and perceive pain. The author has also made use of vivid descriptions in the text. In this case, Wallace uses this to help bring his story to life. As such, he has used description to create a vivid picture for the readers at every level in the text. Through a careful and artful blending of metaphors and its marriage with vivid descriptions, the author has elicited emotions from his readers. It enables him to create some tension as well as atmosphere. As such, he can make the readers feel like they are with the lobsters at that moment. The readers can be in the shoes of the lobsters. In this case, vivid description helps the readers generate a whole picture in their minds to help them understand what the lobsters are going through and how they perceive the world. The author is in a position to create a sense of the entire scene. For example, in the text, Wallace posits, “…watching the fresh-caught lobsters pile over one another, wave their hobbled claws impotently, huddle in the rear corners, or scramble frantically back from the glass as you approach, it is difficult not to sense that they are unhappy, or frightened, even if it’s some rudimentary version of these feelings…” (Wallace 64). As such, it helps the readers to have a close association through this notion of vivid description.
Moreover, it is essential to note that the author has also used rhetorical questions. The essence of Wallace’s use of it is that he intended to subtly influence the audience and persuade them to his way of thinking. In nature, he does not ask the questions to have them try to answer them. Instead, he uses it to bolster the effect of his words on the audience. For example, in the article, the author asks several rhetorical questions towards the end of the story, “…why does rudimentariness even enter into it? Why is a primitive, inarticulate form of suffering less urgent or uncomfortable for the person helping to inflict it by paying for the food it results in? …Does comparison seem a bit much? If so, exactly why? (Wallace 64). These questions serve to provoke the readers to think deeply and absorb the weight of the message that the author is trying to make them understand.
“The Effect Of A Metaphor On Your Readers”. Writers Online, 2019, https://bit.ly/3pK9XnR
Wallace, David Foster. Consider the lobster: And other essays. Hachette UK, 2005.
Wilson, Henry. “Why Are Endnotes And Footnotes Important For An Effective Assignment.” Medium, 2018, https://medium.com/@officialinstantassignmenthelp/why-are-endnotes-and-footnotes-important-for-an-effective-assignment-4e2c57982f3e
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Compose a five-paragraph critical response paper on Consider the Lobster” by David Foster Wallace (1200-1500 words). Focus on how the author uses one or more literary devices to convey his message to the reader. Do not define terms. Avoid summarizing the essay. Be sure to use MLA-style signal phrases to present direct quotes from the article to support your points. Provide detailed explanations related to your argument. Fully developed paragraphs are 5-7 sentences (use a variety of sentence structures). Use the MLA template from the library homepage/citations/MLA website.
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