Summary Of On Dumpster Diving By Lars Eighner

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In 1993 Lars Eighner wrote a book called Travels With Lizbeth: Three Years on the Road and on the Streets. In this book is an essay named On Dumpster Diving, in which Eighner explains to the reader how he has survived while dumpster diving and what he has learned with this experience. However, there is a problem with his essay. The methods Eighner uses and the lessons he attempts to teach the reader are not valid and therefore makes his essay faulty. Eighner’s use of personal experiences instead of facts, statistics, documents, and research is an incorrect way to present the evidence he uses to back up the arguments he makes. In the essay, he states “Everything I have now has already been cast out least once, proving that what I own is valueless…show more content…
While yes, people in this world are very wasteful, Eighner did not use facts and statistics to back up these claims. This makes his work an anecdotal essay. An anecdotal is a fallacy in which a writer uses personal experiences alone without researched evidence to make a claim ( Using personal experiences can be useful as long as it is not the only evidence a writer provides. If a writer has personal experiences that can be relevant to the evidence he/she has already presented and if he/she has multiple accounts, then it can be very useful to an argument. If he were to write this essay in today’s world he would have found that according to Food Waste: Doing the Math by José Cuesta, “Between one-fourth and one-third of the nearly 4 billion metric tons of food produced annually for human consumption is lost or wasted.” Eighner can use this information and claim that the amount of food people…show more content…
False dilemma is, according to Logically Fallacious by Bo Bennett, “When only two choices are presented yet more exist, or a spectrum of possible choices exists between two extremes.” So when Eighner states “I think this is an attitude I share with the very wealthy—we both know there is plenty more where what we have came from. Between us are the rat-race millions who have confounded their selves with the objects they grasp and who nightly scavenge the cable channels looking for they know not what”, he claims that the rich and himself came from a poor or rough background and they each work hard to never return to that life, yet he never took into consideration that some people choose to live the life of your average middle-class American (Eighner 151). Some do not want the life of luxury but rather the life of modesty. He also never considered the children born into a wealthy family. These children grew up wealthy and most likely continued to live wealthy. These children never grew up poor or struggled financially so they do not share the similar experiences with Eighner. Eighner also never explored the possibility that some people who did struggle in their life and later on found themselves financially stable in the middle-class can still be a part of the rich and Eighner’s “group” because they worked hard to get where they are now. However since they

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