Poverty in America

Good Essays
Patricia Goldsby
ENC1102
June 19, 2009
Professor Jenson
Poverty in America

Authors Lars Eighner and Barbara Ehrenreich discuss in their struggles of everyday issues with poverty in America. Barbara Ehrenreich, author of “Nickel-and-Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, raises awareness of the lives of low-wage, poverty stricken people being pushed into the labor market of welfare reform by highlighting the struggles they encounter daily. Whereas Lars Eighner, author of “On Dumpster Diving”, discusses being homeless and explaining the strategies and guidelines of surviving from dumpsters while explaining the etiquette involved in the process. Both Eighner and Ehrenreich have a similar theme of human struggles for survival and utilize style elements, language and characters. Eighner’s writing style is clear-cut and informative. He starts by giving his reasons for why he originally started Dumpster diving. “While Lizbeth [Eighner’s dog] and I were still living in the shack on Avenue B as my savings ran out, I put almost all my sporadic income into rent. The necessities of daily life I began to extract from Dumpsters” (Eighner 165). Eighner then goes into more depth about Dumpster diving itself explaining the strategies and guidelines of surviving from dumpsters while explaining the etiquette involved in the process. He first talks about eating from the Dumpsters, how to tell what is safe to eat, and what to stay away from. “All of these foods might be found in any Dumpster and can be evaluated with some confidence largely on the basis of appearance. Beyond these are foods that cannot be correctly evaluated without additional information” (Eighner 166). Eighner hopes that his audience will adjust their ways of thinking, in terms of how they view dumpster diving, as well as, their own wastefulness. Barbara Ehrenreich’s writing style is more in-formal and personal. She begins her journey by finding an affordable place to live witnesses everyday life



Cited: Eighner, Lars, “On Dumpster Diving.” English Composition II: Writing about Nonfiction Prose. Slavicz, Susan, et al. Boston: McGraw‐Hill Learning Solutions, 2007: 165‐172. Ehrenreich, Barbara, “Nickel-and-Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.” English Composition II: Writing about Nonfiction Prose. Slavicz, Susan, et al. Boston: McGraw‐Hill Learning Solutions, 2007: 173-190.

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