Analysis Of On Dumpster Diving

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Have you ever crossed with a forager who is eager to teach you something? “On Dumpster Diving” Lars Eighner talks about his experience as a forager, reflects on the lessons he learned and gives the reader a strong message. On the essay he describes his lifestyle while being homeless and relying on dumpster dive to survive. He shows that to become a good “scavenger” one must invest a lot of time, effort and practice. He mentions certain rules and tips to follow when deciding where, what, and how to pick food and items from dumpsters. Eighner also explains the stages a dumpster diver goes through, and reveals the small and big values he acquired from living under this poor condition. In “On Dumpster Diving” Lars Eighner discusses about society’s …show more content…
At first the “new scavenger” is ashamed of collecting goods from dumpsters and hides himself from people around him. At this point, “the novice” sees everything as ugly garbage and cannot accept the fact that he is eating people’s trash. He slowly starts to find things in good conditions and becomes less shy. At this moment, the “new scavenger” wants to grab every single item that can be useful but needs to limit himself to collect only what is worth carrying around. (Eighner, 144-145) These stages illustrate the impatience of people, how they want to get things done in the easy and fast way, and are not willing to be perseverant and constant when trying to reach a goal. The author shows that dumpster diving is a process, only experience and time shape an effective dumpster diver. He exemplifies this by saying: “I wonder why he [his companion] cannot evaluate the condition of the crackers for himself. I have no special knowledge and I have been wrong before” …show more content…
Lars Eighner uses precise words to describe how he evaluates the quality of goods he finds. He explains how each food has different characteristics that describe its condition: “Raw fruits and vegetables with intact skins seem perfectly safe to me, excluding of course the obviously rotten.”(141) “Chocolate is often discarded only because it has become discolored as the cocoa butter de-emulsified.”(142) “My test for carbonated soft drinks is whether they still fizz vigorously.”(143) The author is surprised with how people throw away things that are still good to eat or use, and wonders why. By describing the easiness consumers have to dump goods due to insignificant imperfections, Eighner indirectly shows that consumers don’t value what they have. They only want to possess new and intact stuff without realizing that these material things are unnecessary in their lives. Eighner dedicates some paragraphs to describe how easily college students throw things away. He mentions how before breaks he finds a lot of food, when parents come around he finds drugs, alcohol, pornography, and spirits, and at the end of the academic year books, notebooks, and pencil cases.(142-144) For students, it is more convenient to throw things away that to conserve them “since it is Daddy’s money.” (Eighner, 143) Eighner contrasts with the consumer mentality because he actually valued

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