“Dumpster Diving” is not a Horrible Way

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The purpose of the essay is to inform the reader of what living like a Dumpster diver is like. Lars Eighner talks about what it takes to survive as a Dumpster diver. Certain pieces of information such as how not all canned foods are safe, or how peanut butter never really goes bad. These pieces of information could be useful to anyone but Eighner intended them to be there in case someone needs assistance with surviving as a Dumpster diver. Towards the end he also reflects on how being attached to physical things is a waste because people will eventually throw away these physical objects once they are no longer useful. The argument of the essay is to prove that “Dumpster diving” is not a horrible way of life, but is not an encouraged form of life. He wants people to acknowledge how Dumpster diving is just a different way of life and that he survived through it just fine even with some problems here and there.

In his essay, Eighner makes use of Logos in a majority of the essay and a bit of ethos in the beginning and end. He used Logos to inform the reader of bits of information that would be helpful if they themselves were a Dumpster diver. Sometimes this information would be useful to people at home too. He uses Ethos when he is reflecting about the life that he had. He also uses Ethos when he is talking about and feeling bad about how many people still have attachments to physical objects.

Eighner also makes use of irony throughout his essay. He references how at one point he got pizzas from the back of a pizza place and from an area where college students lived. He remarked about how wasteful the students are and how they have no clue about the Dumpster divers that make use of their wastefulness. Eighner also makes reference to how he believes that “scavenging is a modern form of self-reliance”. He means by this that you solely rely on yourself to scavenge the items needed to survive. He spoke about how before he worked for the government essentially doing paperwork which meant he depended on the government to be able to survive. Another example of irony is when he shows that he believes whenever a person gets an object, they should think about when they will discard it, and believes this to be a “healthy state of mind”. He believes that the reader should not depend on or get too heavily attached to an object simply because at one point it will no longer have use and will be discarded. It is ironic simply because with this ideology, he would not be able to survive as a Dumpster diver and so he depends on people not having this ideology.

The tone of the essay is reflective and informative overall. Towards the beginning it took more of a saddened tone because of how he lost everything that he had. At the end he however had a more remorseful tone at how some people still have attachment to objects. The author was successful in what he intended to do. He intended to simply inform the reader about his experience as a Dumpster diver and how to survive as a Dumpster diver.

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“Dumpster Diving” is Not a Horrible Way. (2021, Mar 20). Retrieved June 25, 2024 , from

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