On Dumpster Diving Summary

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Lars Eighner goes into great detail in his essay, “On Dumpster Diving”, when discussing about his experiences living on the streets and the ways of Dumpster diving. He called himself a “scavenger” and even though he would rather live a “comfortable consumer life,” he learned so much from being a scavenger. Eighner begins the chapter with the three principles; what is safe to consume, knowing the Dumpsters, and knowing the answer to the question “Why was this discarded?” He then discusses how to identify good or rotten foods; what will leave the person satisfied or have the person end up with botulism. Eighner also states the benefits of knowing the different locations of dumpsters, like his experience with the Dumpster behind a pizza delivery shop. He knew what time it closed and when the last employees left. He always had a lot to eat due to customer complaints or bogus calls.
Now, the whole essay wasn’t based off of scavenging for food but it was also based on the stages of a new scavenger and the
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This shows his readers that he respects all dumpsters which is completely opposite of how we view them. To show how unglamorous Dumpster diving was, he quotes the words “scavenging” and “foraging”. In a way, it was very capturing how the author described in full detail, yet in an educated way, that Dumpster diving is not bad and shouldn’t be looked down upon. For example, he uses the word “de-emulsified” which not a typical English word a person will hear every day. This can also show the reader that not all people who end up digging through a dumpster means they’re not well-educated. The author’s essay is very informative but there’s a hint of persuasion. He uses ethos to convince the readers of how other dumpster divers and himself can be seen as respectable because they make use of materials that are necessary to
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