Type of Progym: Thesis or Theme
Wallace constantly mentions how people go on cruises to relax or get away from their busy lifestyles. His experience in the Nadir was nothing less than this, from the steward leaving a mint every time she made his bed to having someone carry his own bag for him. Certainly, the cruise’s advertisement for pampering seems to live up to its word. However, do we really want to be “pampered to death”, in Wallace’s own words, or is this just what we are made to believe we should want?
When reading about Wallace’s experience, it’s easy to think “who wouldn’t want to experience all of that?” It definitely sounds amazing to have someone,
“bring you a lobster- as well as a second and even a third lobster with methamphetaminic speed but also incline over you with gleaming claw-cracker and surgical fork arid dismantle it for you, sparing you the green goopy work that’s the only remotely rigorous thing about lobster.”
After all, we constantly find ourselves wanting to relax and recharge for a while after having a stressful period of time. The best way to do so always seems to be the most extravagant and luxurious one, since it will give us everything we want and more. It’s definitely an offer you can’t pass on.
However, we don’t really need all of these luxury and people doing everything for us to be able to relax. Getting away from the stress of your life doesn’t need to be something so exaggerated, sometimes a fun staycation can do the trick. There’s not really a need to be “pampered to death” in order to unwind. While it would definitely be nice to have all the luxury of the Nadir, there’s no need to be crowded with lobsters and extra towels to have a good time away from everything. There’s still beauty in the simple things, such as taking a few hours in the day to reconnect with yourself and forget about the world around you.
The cruise’s goal is to sell you an experience that makes you want to come back. However, just as Wallace experienced, it’s easy to keep wanting something even better once you’re already there.
“After a few days of delight and then adjustment on the Nadir, the Pamper-swaddled part of me that WANTS is now back, and with a vengeance. By Wednesday, I’m acutely conscious of the fact that the A.C. vent in my cabin hisses (..).”
The pampering and relaxation we experience become a momentary solution, quickly making us wish we had something better and even more relaxing. Therefore, not allowing us to reach peak tranquility and making us want even more than what we already have. Since technically nothing can be perfect, we become stuck in this loop of wanting more and more forever, never being truly satisfied.