Critical Analysis #1 “On Dumpster Diving”
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.
He is so astonished by the dumpsters that he contacted the “Merriam-Webster research service” (13) 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.” (13). 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” (13) - showing that he visions self-respect in the usage of the word rather than any shame.
Eighner admires his job as “honorable niche” (14). 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 (14) 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” (14).
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 (14), 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 sustenan...