On Dumpster Diving

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It is said that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Someone’s trash may very well be someone else’s greatest treasure. As Lars Eighner begins his proclamation on his profession the constant competition between internal wealth versus external wealth is evident in his account of dumpster diving. The internal wealth constituted of happiness and self-sufficiency is constantly battling the all craved external wealth of money. Eighner is also deeply dealing with balancing fine ethics while firmly griping on to a form of survival that becomes deeply precious to him.

Delving deep into his preference of the word “scavenging”(p.21), Eighner begins his account on his life as a homeless person almost in a prickly manner. He utilizes his sentences as vehicles to create a subtle yet overpowering affect on his readers. He uses long-winded topic sentences that make for an assertive harbinger. Eighner does this in the opening of his 4th paragraph, when he writes, “I like the frankness of the word scavenging, which I can hardly think of without picturing a big black snail on an aquarium wall.”(p.21) You can hardly go on without feeling overpowered by the imagine that is painted by this strongly composed topic sentence.

In his introduction, Eighner makes it very clear to his readers that he is not a person of external (monetary) wealth; in fact he is constituted of entirely internal wealth. He is a man filled with ethics, living in a world where ethics are intransigent to survival. He uses a scientific and intellectual style as he speaks of his profession as if almost creating a manual on how to properly and justly dumpster dive. His intelligence is striking, and makes it quite hard to believe that this man is indeed homeless. He writes rationally as he mentions, “the senses and common sense to evaluate the condition of the found materials”(p.22) He then speaks analytically stating that, “knowing the dumpsters of a given area and checking them regularly”(p.22) makes for...
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