Analysis of Word Usage in 'Dumpster Diving' by Lars Eighner

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About this sample


Words: 784 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Sep 1, 2020

Words: 784|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Sep 1, 2020

Eighner’s eloquence and extensive vocabulary reveal a man who takes pride in what he has learned as a dumpster diver, and who uses this knowledge to subvert stereotypes about his lifestyle. He quotes examples of his experiences as a dumpster diver and his progressive journey. He tries to dignify his way of life throughout the essay.

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He is so astonished by the dumpsters that he contacted the “Merriam-Webster research service” to inquire about the word “Dumpster”. Following the event of learning about the word, he begins to write the word in the capital. Eighner stated, “Since then I have dutifully capitalized the word, although it was lowercased in almost all the citations Merriam-Webster photocopied for me.”. In addition, he abominates the use of any other word instead of “Dumpster” and perceives that the word is totally relevant in that context by quoting that it is “too apt” - showing that he visions self-respect in the usage of the word rather than any shame.

Eighner admires his job as “honorable niche”. The way he puts his arguments forward impresses the reader. For instance, he expresses his desire to live cozy and relax life and at the same time admires the lifestyle of a dumpster diver. The usage of the word “scavenging” in his text is also notable. His justification for preferring the word “scavenging” as a substitute for the dumpster in his case makes the reader notice that he takes his business seriously. His essay draws the attention from the beginning when he indicates that he does not like the lavish wastage by stating that he would like to become a “less wasteful consumer”.

Surprisingly, part of his essay is dedicated to guiding people to make them safely adopt the profession of dumpster diving by carefully describing do's and don'ts for picking food as a dumpster. By cautiously warning the people of the hazards of canned foods owing to the “possibility” of botulism, he expresses his concern for people who could potentially catch diseases by perceiving canned foods to be unfailingly reliable.

Eighner’s critical analysis of every food reveals that his job is hard, however, he has devised certain ways to confirm the quality of foods. From time to time, he encounters an array of eatables which, sometimes, he is unsure about. Thus, he views certain foods like crackers, cookies with a sense of suspicion. His genuine and cautious appraisal of sustenances interests the reader and the reader is bound to read about it painstakingly. Apart from this, Eighner is a man of principles. This is proved through an instance when he states, “I never placed a bogus order to increase the supply of pizzas and I believe no one else was scavenging in this Dumpster”. This demonstrates he rather will remain hungry as opposed to being dishonest. Again, he turns out to be unique in relation to others when he expresses his disapproval on the consumption of alcohol accidentally. Also, he does not encourage others to adopt his profession and declares that the business is quite demanding. The way the Eighner pictures various stages of dumpster diving is astounding. He emphasizes that the man gets transformed and become a better dumpster as he advances in the business. This manifests that he is so dedicated to his profession that he also underwent various challenges during his excursion as a dumpster diver, yet he was constantly prepared to confront them.

Eighner tries to uplift his lifestyle when he quotes that he is very ethical when it comes to picking things from a dumpster. He uses a non-judgemental approach when he finds personal stuff and confidential information in the dumpsters. Evidently, he tries to subvert generalizations regarding his way of life. The phrases “Despite all of this sensitive information” and “scavenger ethics” are very effective in this regard. He also appears to be extremely sensitive when it comes to Lizbeth – his dog. He aspires to a “comfortable old age” for her. Time and again, Eighner is happy with the profession he has adopted, and he finds joy in the things he finds in the dumpsters. He does not complain instead he finds this occupation to be interesting. He cites, “Dumpster diving is outdoor work, often surprisingly pleasant”. He expresses that his job is worthwhile and productive. It is notable when he compares himself to rich people despite being a dumpster diver. It is evident of the fact that considers himself no less than “very wealthy”.

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In conclusion, his usage of words and depiction of different encounters demonstrate that he genuinely takes pride in what he has learned as a dumpster diver and has truly made people into seeing the dumpster diving in a totally different way.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

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Analysis Of Word Usage In ‘Dumpster Diving’ By Lars Eighner. (2020, September 01). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
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