Lars Eighner “on Dumpster Diving” Essay

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Lars Eighner “On Dumpster Diving”
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
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They would view all their findings as trash, while Eighner sees it as treasure. The typical wealthy consumer would definitely view Eighner findings as trash, due to the fact that they are accustom to buying everything brand new. In this sense I feel that Eighner feels a bit better than the consumer. Maybe because he can survive in the worst condition and still be happy, while other people are pampered and only seek comfort.
Even though Eighner seems to be ok with the life he is living, I get puzzled by the thought of why is Eighner homeless in the first place? Is it by choice or was he left with no other option? I know some writers like to experience certain situations, which make writing their piece much easier. Could that be Eighner’s excuse? It’s easy for one to make assumptions about what it would be like dumpster diving, but it’s nothing like having background.
A quote often used is, "One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” This describes Eighner’s feelings perfectly. At one point he stated, "People throw away perfectly good stuff, a lot of perfectly good stuff."(384) This proves the point that once someone throws something away, it doesn't mean it is trash, just ready for a change of ownership. Eighner few dumpster diving as an art because of all the cool stuff he finds on a regular. Things such as: clothes, type writer, love letters, ragdolls et cetera. He mentioned that he hardly ever pick up things without envisioning the
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