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Essay Discussing The Concern Of Poverty From Two Essays, "On Dumpster Diving" By Lars Eighner And "A Modest Proposal" By Jonathan Swift

1190 words - 5 pages

In two particular essays I have read, “On Dumpster Diving” by Lars Eighner and, “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift, I noticed that the authors write about the concern they have for the unfortunate people in their countries. They also provide abnormal means of resolving the issue of poverty. The essay by Lars Eighner describes his experiences with Dumpsters and Dumpster diving. He then specifically informs the readers about how to look for food that is acceptable to eat. The author also tells of the different classifications of people that use Dumpster diving as means of providing food and material items.Next, the essay by Jonathan Swift states a proposal that would have small children and babies being cooked and served to the people of Ireland. The author goes into great detail on the cooking process, uses terms meant for cows (breed and cattle), and provides calculations for determining the number of children that would be expendable. Although the essay was satirical in meaning and aimed at the English government, it displayed a not so modest proposal for a reaction to Ireland’s problem.The one thing I found in both of the essays was that the reaction to the problem deviated from normality. Both of the essays displayed extreme ways of dealing with being poor and helped to provide a solution that was abstract.In the essay by Lars Eighner he explains that, “Dumpster diving is outdoor work, often surprisingly pleasant. Yet in spite of the element of change, scavenging more than most pursuits tends to yield returns in some proportion to the effort and intelligence brought to bear”. ThePuckett 2author further writes that he thinks of “scavenging” as a modern form of self-reliance and states that the work rewards initiative and effort refreshing. Although it was a way of survival for Lars Eighner and a solution to the poverty he was facing, it is definitely not a normal way of life for the general population. I speculate that most people would not find the method of Dumpster diving pleasant, rewarding, or refreshing (unless of course someone found something of actual decent value or use).As I have said, Lars Eighner gives three principles for eating safely from Dumpsters. The author writes, “Eating safely from the Dumpsters involves three principles: using the senses and common sense to evaluate the condition of the found materials, knowing the Dumpsters of a given area and checking them regularly, and seeking always to answer the question ‘Why was this discarded?’”. He writes this as giving instruction to those who might eventually need this skill or to those that feel so inclined to go Dumpster diving anyway. He gives in great detail the things you must look for on different kinds of food. For example the author writes, “Canned goods are among the safest of foods to be found in Dumpsters, but are not utterly foolproof. All canned goods should contain a slight vacuum and suck...

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