In the essay “On Dumpster Diving” by Lars Eighner, one of the themes I believe is portrayed through the text is, even in the world of dumpster diving there are ethics. Eighner shows he has personal ethics in several parts of the essay. He can recognize the value of items that are more important then others. “The necessities of daily life I began to extract from dumpsters” shows that he has the willpower to keep pushing and not give up (Eighner 162). “Occasionally a find tells a story” Eighner explains, but he refuses and will not share personal information he finds in the Dumpsters, such as addresses, prescription information, and such (Eighner 170). He has the ability to wreak havoc on people, but that is not his purpose or his plan. He is simply attempting to survive the only way he can see. It is clear that he has morals and principles, and these guide him as he scavenges.
Eighner shows a lot of respect towards others, he does not scavenger individual garbage cans. “My strongest reservation about going through individual garbage cans is that this seems to me a very personal kind of invasion” He puts himself in household owner’s shoes and thinks from their point of view (Eighner 169). He believes in being fair to others and that is the reason he dislikes can scroungers. “ There are precious few courtesies among scavengers” If a scavenger finds something he/she cannot carry or does not need it is only fair that he/she leave the good items in plain sight for another scavenger (Eighner 169). He believes “can scroungers lay waste to everything in their path” they will dig for cans and in the process take perfectly usable items in good condition “to the bottom of the dumpsters to be lost or ruined” (Eighner 169). This essay really brought my attention to how intelligent, respectful and useful some people become even when they have nothing. It also shows how morals and ethics play a big role in life.
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