The Reality of the Material Life

Topics: Personal life, English-language films, Thought Pages: 3 (979 words) Published: March 24, 2011
Everyday people purchase thousands of objects and live in large houses and live the ideal material life, with material things, and lives based on what they own. However there are several people all over the world that have no homes and base their belongings on what they can carry with them. Lars Eighner was found homeless and through this, discovered his own lessons of life by scavenging and developing the understanding the difference between those who live through their possessions and those who do not. Thoreau learned his way of life through his exploration of nature, and his examination of the material world, which is something that Eighner did as well. “On Dumpster Diving” by Eighner and “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” by Thoreau, they discover life lessons, and they criticize the 'rat race millions' but not similarly, which can be explained because of the way they approach life.

According to Eighner, there are lessons that he found from his experience of being homeless. One of them being “To take what [he] can use and let the rest go by” (Eighner 9).What Eighner means by this is that the only things that are necessary in life are the objects that he can use and everything else is not worth taking. Referring to all the material things that everyone else has. He is criticizing those who take what they do not need because he believes that everyone should live by his ideas. However obviously aware that many do not, he makes the point that having too many possessions could take over someone's very substance, which is why he feels is important to let these possessions go if one cannot make use out of them. Thoreau agrees when he says “For a man is rich in proportion to the number of thing which can he can afford to let alone.” (Thoreau 5). This shows a direct parallelism to Eighner's idea that there are several possessions that should be abandoned, which proves even more so that both writers have the same ideas. Even though Thoreau finds this out in a...
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