David Foster Wallace uses somewhat absurd descriptions to enhance his depiction of the state fair in “Ticket to the Fair.” While most people can picture a horse or a cow, Wallace still insists on describing them. However, his descriptions depict the animals in ways different than we are used to – horses’ faces “are long and somehow suggestive of coffins” (p. 38) and feed bags are compared to gas masks. In this way, Wallace makes ordinary things such as cows and horses seem fresh and strange. His raw and often strange descriptions give life to the somewhat ordinary topic of a state fair.
Another characteristic of Wallace’s writing is its personal language. Again, one would expect a state fair article to be very descriptive and documenting, yet Wallace brings his personal opinions and anecdotes to make it more interesting. It is certainly not the most objective and thorough review of a state fair, but its subjective and anecdotal writing makes it more interesting than an overview of every activity would have been. Wallace brings in his own personal experiences, recounting how he is scared of poultry because he got pecked as a child. In many cases, he is kind of an ‘anti-journalist’, being self-deprecating about his talents and saying he lacks the journalistic instinct necessary to push to the front of the crowd and ask questions. In doing so, Wallace combines his own personality with his experience of the fair, which makes for an interesting and vibrant article.