The Rhetorical Analysis Of “Consider The Lobster” By David Foster Wallace Free Writing Sample

In an 2004 article for Gourmet Magazine titled “Consider the Lobster,” David Foster Wallace uses his visit to the Maine Lobster Festival as a vehicle fefor questioning the ethics of eating lobster. He provides the reader with factual reasons and definitions to make thought of absentmindedly harming animals (particularly lobsters) for the sake of satisfying one’s palate. In the article, he begins by acknowledging the history of the lobster and he discusses more scientific information about the lobster. The article mainly refers to why the Maine Lobster Festival is an annual-large crowd drawing event. The main arguments that are presented causes the reader to question the seemingly unethical way lobster is prepared before consumption.

Wallace uses imagery to make the reader relate to the disturbing reactions of the Lobster when submerged into boiling water. Humans can relate to: “…clinging to the side of 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”…The image that is created in the reader’s mind is quite disturbing and it really provokes a lot of thought and consideration. No one really knows if lobsters feel pain, but their reaction to boiling water is certainly something that needs to be looked upon. The human alike would act similarly with possible screams due to suffering and distress. Another violent image Wallace uses to appeal to pathos through his statement: “watching the fresh- caught lobsters pile over one another, wave their wobbled claws impotently, huddle in the rear corners, or scrabble frantically back from the glass as you approach, it is difficult not to sense that they’re unhappy, or frightened.” This statement created a sense of sympathy between the reader and the lobster, the readers begins to get a visual of the reactions of a confined lobster while making the reader feel just as uncomfortable and vulnerable as the lobster. Wallace cause the reader to experience something that many have dared to consider- empathy towards a live being before it becomes nothing more than a main dish. Lobster either can or cannot feel pain… or maybe they just notice the difference in water temperature and behave adversely to the sudden change. Regardless of which side of the argument humans identify with , one thing that is sure for the lobster, it definitely reacts in a way that shows signs of distress once the water temperature changes. When the lobster is fully submerged, it exhibits behavioral thrashing and scraping as if they were trying to escape. This evidence shows that the lobster may be in terrible pain and it definitely shows sights of struggle and discomfort— which is something that humans would not prefer to experience.

Throughout the article, Wallace states how he lacks ‘culinary sophistication’ and how he ‘is confused’ as to why people even consider mass tourism to the Maine Lobster Festival just to feast on lobster, Wallace’s essay is a very good example of the boundaries that are set when one is trying to refer to another person’s or to an audience’s own beliefs and ethics toward a topic. The main issue discussed in this essay was of the morality-of- boiling- lobsters alive and whether or not it was worth it even with the reasons of not knowing if the lobster can or cannot feel pain. Wallace stated that lobsters are most likely prone to pain in relation to other animals because of their lack of natural opioids, which are the mammal’ built-in painkillers. Wallace’s personal explanations and examples about why the reader should consider the lobster are of great details and influentials. A personal connection between Wallace and the audience causes the itself article to be taken into consideration seriously and the readers to really take the time to think about the things that humans do when it involves the cruelty of animals and the way we kill them. This article is based upon emotion and feelings, Wallace creates a mental image of the lobsters actions when submerged into boiling hot water. The lobsters suffering should pull on the heartstrings of the reader and could possibly cause them to change their stance regarding the unethical way of cooking lobster.

The last rhetorical strategy that was used in the article was through the use of scientific research.. Many of the things that Wallace said was backed up by factual information. When writing an essay, I know that it is important to provide information that will move the audience. Wallace did a lot of research for this article and with the tone he displayed, he is not trying to stop the readers from eating lobster entirely, but is calling attention to the approach in how lobsters are prepared before eating. This article really affected my thinking. I have realized that there are many foods we consume in our diets that were once a living being and may have died brutally before becoming our main dish. For instance, the article mentions the fact that there are some foods called “lamb, fish, and chicken” Then there is beef and pork. What does this really mean? Does it have something to do with the way it was prepared? The way that people perceive or preference one type of animal over another? This really sinks in, I initially never thought of that. This article ends with comparing the lives of animals to humans. Which is more important? Can Humans live without the consumption of animals at all, and just rely on things that are grown such as fruit and vegetables?

Toward the end of the article, Wallace states that it is the individual themselves are solely responsible for their participation in the Maine Lobster Festival and they can question their own stance of ethics/morals when it comes down to performing the act of cooking or watching lobster be cooked. Wallace’s evidence of the reactions of cooks walking out of the room to to being uncomfortable and maybe even feelings of guilt when they hear lobster clattering in the pot are also good examples for why people should think about what they are doing when it pertains to lobsters.

Distance Education Becomes More And More Popular

With the development of modern technology, remote-learning programs have gained its reputation in the past decades. People nowadays can acquire the latest knowledge through the internet, television and videos. However, there are also many people worrying about whether the new form of education can have the same effects compared to studying in person. In my view, such a novel way of learning enables many people to learn more flexibly, but it has its drawbacks. Distance learning, sometimes called e-learning, is a formalized teaching and learning system specifically designed to be carried out remotely by using electronic communication.

Because distance learning is less expensive to support and is not constrained by geographic considerations, it offers opportunities in situations where traditional education has difficulty operating. Students with scheduling or distance problems can benefit, as can employees, because distance education can be more flexible in terms of time and can be delivered virtually anywhere. (Rouse, 2005) No discussion of technology’s impact on English teaching would be complete without analyzing the state of distance education. Universities and the private sector are rushing into distance education, seeking to reach new markets and achieve economies of scale. This is part of a broader process of the commercialization of higher education, which began in the area of research (with production and sale of patents and exclusive licenses) and has now shifted to education (WARSCHAUER, 2000, p. 526)

Pay attention to your syllabus. This might sound like an obvious one, but it’s also very easy to forget. Many of us fall in the trap of checking the course schedule only superficially and putting it aside very fast, just finding out from course to course what we have to do. But the syllabus includes useful information about your professor, lessons, grading system, assignments and a guide that explains how you can access the online forums, libraries and course materials. Knowing what and how you are going to study and the materials you need can help you prepare a better study schedule and even do some things in advance.

Some schools or instructors include attendance policies on the course syllabus. Pay attention to the guidelines because you may get points deducted from your grade for missed classes, coming in late, and leaving early. Your instructor may also include their own personal dislikes, like using an iPod in class or bringing in computers to take notes. Following their guidelines should keep you on their good side and help you do well in the class. Start with the syllabus and create a rough outline, including the course schedule and the grading policy. These elements will help in planning the course. Think also at this point about how students will address the instructor. While some instructors prefer to be called by a first name, others believe it will undermine the authority of all teachers. Consider informing students that they do not want to call female teachers with a PhD “Mrs.” rather than “Dr.” A safe bet is to teach students to always use “Professor” unless told otherwise. Be thorough with the syllabus but not exhaustive. This in an area in which many faculty members make mistakes. Since they correctly view the syllabus as a contract, they want to include everything that the student should or should not do. This quickly becomes a list of prohibitions, such as “no hats in class,” “no talking,” and “no tardiness.”

However, this approach undermines a sense of trust in the student. In spite of concerns the instructor may have about the youth and inexperience of students, they quickly understand how to behave in the course. Think like a student: how would you want to be treated if you were taking a course? Write a syllabus with that perspective in mind. Think about texting in class. While it is tempting to place a prohibition against texting on the syllabus, a student who is texting in class is typically not disruptive, although the instructor may view the behavior as insulting and rude. In this case, patience is a virtue. Consider using a combination of brief explanations of why behavior is disruptive followed by periodic silences throughout the rest of the course when behavior becomes excessive. And, if all else fails, the instructor can reserve the right to kick a student out of class, which will at least solve the problem temporarily.

Economic Vs Environmental Protection

We are currently living in a time where our planet as we know it is at stake. We are fighting against a ticking clock in a world where climate change is a reality that is endangering not only our valuable natural resources but global civilizations all over the world. The threat of global warming appears worse than ever and it is evident that this is traceable to human-caused carbon emissions. Our current situation is calling out for a solution that will allow for the prosperity of future generations. Power plants today are the largest source of U.S CO2 emissions, which are contributing to the rise of global temperatures and sea levels, changing weather and precipitation patterns and in turn affecting ecosystems and communities. It is clear that society should seek to limit CO2 emissions by power plants since they pose numerous environmental consequences in creating long-lasting climatic changes that are currently affecting millions of people and risk future catastrophic climatic events. The carbon-pollution associated with power plants threatens American health and welfare and should, therefore, be limited. However, with a heavy reliance on natural gas, we must become aware of the inadequate regulations placed upon the practice of fracking in relation to human safety, as its almost unsupervised and unregulated growth is posing major health hazards to communities all over the U.S.

After WWII, there was a wave of industrialization that brought with it an increase in the use of fossil fuels. Growing concerns on the environmental externalities brought upon from unregulated activity by new industries led to the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, which called upon the government to play an active role in environmental protection. EPA, or The Environmental Protection Act was then established to coordinate and regulate these efforts. Since then regulations and laws with the purpose of ‘placing numerous restrictions on industrial and commercial activities that might result in the pollution, degradation, and contamination of land, air, water, food, and the workplace’ ( Easton, 158) have been passed. Despite these acts, carbon emissions are driving up climatic change at an alarming rate and with power plants being the largest single source of U.S carbon emission representing 40% of the total. Act after act has been passed but our environment is crying out for a revolutionary solution that will, in fact, bring changes to our current situation. In the face of current environmental circumstances the EPA, in an effort to limit carbon emissions from fossil-fueled power plants, passed the Clean Power Plan. Adopted in 2015, this plan set carbon pollution standards for existing power plants, with a projection to reduce carbon emissions from the electricity sector by an estimated 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. While the EPA’s efforts are the first time in history where power plant emissions have been regulated, its framework is not ambitious enough to reach the results desired. It is imperial and urgent to take further steps in order to reduce the climatic consequences brought upon CO2.

The urgency to reduce CO2 emissions is evident in the climatic change that is upon us that has been caused by human environmental manipulation. The growth of the global economy since the 1860s has relied heavily on fossil fuel consumption. According to representatives of ALSTOM power, an international supplier of power generation that concerns for the environment, humans have collectively released approximately ‘950 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the burning of oil, coal and natural gas. These fossil fuel emissions have been increasing at an average rate of 2% a year to a 1997 annual global output of around 23 billion tons of carbon dioxide ‘ The retention of some of these gases in our atmosphere have contributed to the rise of 1º C of the global average temperatures. Scientists argue that in order to stabilize these rising concentrations and temperatures, reduction in CO2 emissions of even 60-80% may be required. During the year 2012, U.S heat-trapping emissions reached an alarming 82% of CO2, a third of it (32%) coming from electricity generation. A failure to reduce these emissions will increase the risks of serious repercussions caused by the ‘accelerating sea level rise, storm surges, heat waves, wildfires, droughts, and increased hurricane intensity.’ (Richardson, 248). It is crucial for us to tackle this issue and attempt to reduce the accumulation carbon dioxide in our planet’s atmosphere since not only it is in our best future interest but it is an event we are collectively responsible for.

The risks of catastrophic climate outcomes as well as the growing impact that is evident in the U.S. also contributes to the urgency to limit CO2 emissions. According to the Global Humanitarian Forum’s ‘Human Impact Report: Climate Change–The Anatomy of a Silent Crisis’ (May 29, 2009) global warming is already affecting over 300 million people and is responsible for 300,000 deaths per year. People living in the US are already starting to be exposed to climate change impacts that vary in severity. Some face the risk of tremendous flooding as the global sea level rise is increasing at a much faster pace. On the other hand, higher temperatures seen as an effect of greenhouse gas atmosphere retention have increased evaporation and plant transpiration and has increased the threat of drought in certain regions. These extreme events that lead to an excess or scarcity of water, has and will have tremendous costs. The current threat will transform communities not only in the U.S but all around the globe. Therefore, making a significant reduction in US existing power plant emissions in the next decades to come can help reduce risks of negative consequences from climate change in the US and the world.

We have thus established the clear necessity to reduce our carbon-emissions derived from mainly power plants. The question then shifts in another direction, as we turn to the industry of fracking. Having turned away from other pollutants, we have started to heavily rely on natural gas for energy generation and while it has proved to be a cleaner energy source, the practice of fracking is not adequately regulated for public safety. It is true that the conversion of coal to natural gas has put America a step closer in reducing our greenhouse gas emission more than any other industrialized nation, however, there has been recent evidence of its possible health hazards and even environmental detriments. Fracking involves blasting chemicals, sand, and water into bedrock through horizontal drilling in order to create a fracture in the rock and allow for the extraction of natural gas. Disposal of these chemicals has become an industrial dilemma as business refuses to admit the real consequences that this practice is having on nearby communities. The issue with fracking comes from the fact that a majority of industries and corporations are not being completely transparent in their practice and many government officials are failing to regulate it since monetary interests are involved. There has been an uncovering of adverse health effects that have had serious consequences on communities near drilling wells that have caught the attention of many and call for, not a ban, but a more restricted and regulated fracking industry. In his article ‘The Truth About Fracking’, Chris Mooney exemplifies these issues as he states that there hasn’t been a great deal of research into the safety and side-effects of fracking, and it might be possible that the problem lies in the careless of well-drilling and waste disposal. The concern then lies in the regulation of the environmental impacts of fracking as well as the disposal of water, chemicals, and drilling wastes.

Currently, the only new fracking regulations from the EPA, addressing air pollution are not as restrictive as they should be. In their book, ‘The Real Costs of Fracking: How America’s Shale Gas Boom Is Threatening Our Families, Pets, And Food’, Bamberger and Oswald, the first researchers to document ill health in communities near fracking drill sites, exemplify some of the major concerns associated with this practice. First off, many of the fracking chemicals used to extract natural gas are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. Their studies during the ongoing fracking boom uncovered ‘serious adverse effects including respiratory, reproductive, and growth-related problems in animals and a spectrum symptoms in humans they termed ‘shale gas syndrome” The harmful chemicals in fracking also include the release of methane. Across the country, there have been instances of disastrous spills of wastewater into rivers and illegal dumping into aquifers which poses the risk of the water table being tainted. One recent study carried out by Stephen G. Osborn found amounts of methane in drinking water supplies so high in natural gas as to pose ‘a potential explosion hazard’. Not only does this release of methane potentially contaminate drinking water, but its release into the atmosphere contributes even more to global warming. There are now more than 1 million active oil and gas wells in the country, and their growth and adverse effects are calling for regulations. In all these areas, there has been clear evidence of community members with cancer and neurological disorder and other adverse effects that are caused by long exposure to chemical leaks. This is an entirely preventable health and environmental crisis that is being ignored by those in power.

An exemplary case is that of Vernal, Utah presented in the book Taking Sides. Here the struggle is apparent between profit and economy over environmental health hazards protection. Vernal’s state’s legislature, so deeply entrenched in the oil and gas industry will not accept the reality and will protect the business at any cost. There appeared to be extraordinary levels of wintertime pollution plaguing the area since the undertaking to frack the region, which filled the air with toxins and carcinogenic gases. Pregnant women were deeply affected and babies began dying in the area and the state legislature failed to assess the situation. The impacts of the unregulated fracking industry are not regional but local and it appears as if the government has abandoned their communities picking business over welfare. However, a call for a ban on fracking is not needed, what people are requesting is that politicians ensure that the practice is done responsibly through the enforcement of tighter regulations. Currently, fracking is exempt from the Clean Air Act, The Clean Water Act and The Safe Drinking Water Act as a consequence of an exemption passed into the 2005 Clean Energy Act, called the Halliburton Loophole. Thus potentials spills, explosions, leaks in calves, off-gassing, harmful air emissions, truck traffic and massive deforestation continue to be part of the industrialization of shale gas production that is not regulated and in turn is a concerning health hazard.

If we fail to address these issues soon as a society, the repercussions will be visible in the future. While the economic and political systems we may have in place now may benefit our market economy and a drastic change might affect these systems, we must think of the collective future and the greater good of the global community. Our practices now are only temporary and their environmental consequences will eventually not only lead to their own demise but to humanity’s as well. It is, therefore, necessary to take action now and urgently reduce power plant CO2 emissions, while also assuring that the new methods used such as fracking of natural gas are well regulated so as to not cause more environmental and social repercussions in our society’s health and welfare.

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