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Lars Eighner “on Dumpster Diving”

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Lars Eighner “on Dumpster Diving”

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  • April 2013
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Lars Eighner “On Dumpster Diving”
Summary:
In Lars Eighner’s short essay “On Dumpster Diving”, he describes his experience of being homeless and the art of dumpster driving. Eighner prefers being referred to as a scavenger rather than a dumpster driver. Eighner stated “I like the frankness of the word scavenging. I live from refuse of others. I am a scavenger.” (383) He describes scavenging as a full time job, that requires a lot of effort. He believes that if one follows certain guidelines and rules, with doing so this could possibly help one to become efficient. One rule is knowing good place and time to look for food and other items, that could be useful. Another rule is knowing how to eat safely from a dumpster . Eighner said “Eating safely from dumpsters involves three principles; using the senses and the common senses to evaluate the conditions of the found materials, knowing the dumpsters of a given area and checking them regularly. Seeking always to answer the question ‘why was this discarded?”’ (384).

Responding to dumpster diving:
What I get from Eighner’s pierce is that even though he is living a life of poverty on the streets, he seemed to have a good attitude about the circumstances in which he lives in. As Eighner said, if most people most people, put in his situation, they would rather be dead or would trade anything to live a life of comfort. His confidence and knowledge shows his experience in dumpster diving, which most people look down upon. "At first the new scavenger is filled with disgust and self-loathing, (Eighner, 5)". Eighner finds it as an art, and something that not everyone is capable of doing. Through the good and bad Eighner finds the art of Dumpster diving as a lifelong learning experience and rewarding. I agree that not everyone would be capable of dumpster diving. A lot of people are too filled with pride; they would never be caught dead doing such thing. Then again if you put someone who has been wealthy all their...

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