Essay about The Reality of the Material Life

Words: 989
Pages: 4

Everyday people purchase thousands of objects and live in large houses and live the ideal material life, with material things, and lives based on what they own. However there are several people all over the world that have no homes and base their belongings on what they can carry with them. Lars Eighner was found homeless and through this, discovered his own lessons of life by scavenging and developing the understanding the difference between those who live through their possessions and those who do not. Thoreau learned his way of life through his exploration of nature, and his examination of the material world, which is something that Eighner did as well. “On Dumpster Diving” by Eighner and “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” by …show more content…
Eighner first defines the people he calls the rat race millions as those, “who [have] confounded their selves with the objects they grasp” (Eighner 10). This exhibits his belief that the millions of people that lead the material life have damned themselves because of obsession of materialism. No matter how much these people get, they will never get enough and they need for more and more will soon suffocate them and make them live a life based on what they have in their wallets or in their homes. Eighner thinks this because he lived around hundreds of college kids who would throw out perfectly good things and he looked down upon those who did so, even though some of those things kept him alive. On the other hand, Thoreau thinks that “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation” (Thoreau 4). That these 'rat race millions' are not all obsessed with themselves but rather just crying out for a way to fit in with society that is led by the amount of money in a person's wallet. There is a desperation within all men to live the quiet life in which Thoreau does, and Thoreau lived this way after he returned his own call for help. The millions of people that lead the life that both Thoreau and Eighner left, have only settled for it, and believe that it is the only way to live. These two men are an example of the way that things of the mind, emotions, thoughts, believes, hopes, are