Lars Eighner “On Dumpster Diving” originally published in The Threepenny review in fall 1990. Eighner’s arranges his essay into 3 main ideas to all tie into his overall theme. He ties it all into the idea that our society is wasteful by nature. Eighner uses his own experiences to show how wasteful people really are. Although he has not always been homeless, it has taught him a way of life he had never dreamed imaginable. If he doesn’t discover the hidden treasure of the dumpster’s then who will.
Although at first he was not homeless, he still dumpster dived to survive. Eighner uses a calm tone throughout the whole essay. With using this tone causes the reader not to feel sympathetic like normal people would feel when they hear about someone dumpster diving to survive. He wants to focus less on the emotion and more about wastefulness. His attitude influences heavily on the readers opinions. By having an attitude that dumpster diving is not uncommon or is unethical makes the reader somewhat view it differently. It persuades the reader into thinking that maybe dumpster diving isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. Also by writing the essay in an informal yet very educated way makes the reader respect his work and gives him great credibility.
His first main point in his essay is “What is safe to eat?” At first it is very hard for him to determine what is edible and what was thrown away for a real reason. He says that finding objects is becoming an “urban art”. You never know what you will find it could be a good or bad surprise. Canned foods is one of the best find for someone out of a dumpster, although they sometimes have botulism. Also knowing about the dumpsters helps him determine what will be good to eat and when the food is frequently dumped. He tells us this to help us determine what we shouldn’t throw out because it is still perfectly good.
Eighner’s second main idea is “scavengers vs. scroungers”. ...