HU 101 Writing C
“Lobster Lessons” Summary
September 5, 2011
In the autobiography, “Lobster Lessons”, author Aleksandra Crapanzano tells the story of a particular ritual that her long, time lover introduces to her. Crapanzano begins to describe her relationship with John by presenting details about how she “met his parents” and “…moved in together” before they could settle into “any enduring rituals” (46). Crapanzano talks about how when summer arrived, her love, John, introduces her to a small cottage on the beach of Nantucket, where she meets “his permanent Other Woman” great-aunt Margaret.
She then tells of Aunt Margaret’s “Spartan” daily diet. Aunt Margaret’s daily dietary habits consist of eating three grapefruits, two tall glasses of skim milk, and a tuna-fish sandwich. Her dinner would be a “cold chicken leg” (46), “two red potatoes” (46), and some green beans. Crapanzano tell of the “first sign of a new world order” when she and John went to the supermarket and she “watched in horror” as John filled their shopping cart with tuna fish packets and mayonnaise. When she tried to put other things in the basket, such as butter or garlic, he would shake his head. Then one night, John decides to cook something different, something that finally seemed appetizing to Crapanzano: lobsters.
She describes the ritual very carefully and in full details. Crapanzano explains the process of making the lobster. First, John was to carry the huge pot to the ocean so that he can get sea water. Second, when placing the lobsters in the boiler, John and his great-aunt Margaret would close the lid together and boil the lobster for 23 minutes. After taking careful mental notes of the ritual, Crapanzano ends the story of how she can continue the ritual with her son, so that the ritual would never die out.