Essay discussing the concern of poverty from two essays, "On Dumpster Diving" by Lars Eighner and "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift

Essay by DJLG07College, UndergraduateA+, April 2008

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In two particular essays I have read, “On Dumpster Diving” by Lars Eighner and, “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift, I noticed that the authors write about the concern they have for the unfortunate people in their countries. They also provide abnormal means of resolving the issue of poverty. The essay by Lars Eighner describes his experiences with Dumpsters and Dumpster diving. He then specifically informs the readers about how to look for food that is acceptable to eat. The author also tells of the different classifications of people that use Dumpster diving as means of providing food and material items.

Next, the essay by Jonathan Swift states a proposal that would have small children and babies being cooked and served to the people of Ireland. The author goes into great detail on the cooking process, uses terms meant for cows (breed and cattle), and provides calculations for determining the number of children that would be expendable.

Although the essay was satirical in meaning and aimed at the English government, it displayed a not so modest proposal for a reaction to Ireland’s problem.

The one thing I found in both of the essays was that the reaction to the problem deviated from normality. Both of the essays displayed extreme ways of dealing with being poor and helped to provide a solution that was abstract.

In the essay by Lars Eighner he explains that, “Dumpster diving is outdoor work, often surprisingly pleasant. Yet in spite of the element of change, scavenging more than most pursuits tends to yield returns in some proportion to the effort and intelligence brought to bear”. ThePuckett 2author further writes that he thinks of “scavenging” as a modern form of self-reliance and states that the work rewards initiative and effort refreshing. Although it was a...