“Trash” by Andy Mulligan is a novel about three young boys- Raphael, Gardo, and Rat (Jun-Jun) and they spend their days searching and sorting through mountains of trash on the Behala dumpsite as they escape the police. In Trash, they live in a world pollution, poverty, and corruption. Together, the three boys must overcome adversity and push through the hardest situations.
In Trash, one of the biggest issues are pollution. Pollution has a heavy impact on the boys at the Behala dumpsite, it has been named the ‘Rubbish Town’. “You’d be amazed at how much trash this city makes. Piles and piles of it, and it all ends up here with us.” This quote evidently gives the reader an immediate idea of the conditions the boys have to deal with on a daily basis and live with. “You want to come see? Well, you can smell Behala long before you see it.” This specific quote alarms how terrible pollution is in Behala and distinctly shows how much rubbish had been dumped at the dumpsite to hold such a strong smell. “I was a trash boy since I was old enough to move without help and pick things up.” This quote displays that Raphael was born into a poor and polluted area and had lived his whole life as a dumpsite boy, therefore he is used to his lifestyle.
Poverty was another major issue in Trash. Within Trash, poverty affected the whole of Behala town, and their lifestyle. The Behala town was very poor and was very limited with money, food, and water. On page 3 the quote “Most of the people live in boxes, and the boxes are stacked up tall and high” shows that the people of Behala are very poor and can’t afford a home, as a result they collect equipment from the dumpsite and poorly construct it into their home. “There were kids jumping into the trucks then, and picking there, but me and Raphael stayed down, listening around for more ‘information’, me wondering all the time where this was going to end-knowing,” This quote here, again shows us the poor lifestyle they live and that the kids in Behala do what they want and aren’t looked after well, as they are digging through trucks, searching for trash in the middle of the road. Raphael “The kids round here, half the stuff we wear is what we found,” implies the lack of money clothing the children owned. With the use of these quotes, Behala had been clearly labelled as a extremely poor town. Behala is the perfect example of destitution.
The third leading adversity in Trash is corruption. In Behala they live in a world of corrupt and violence. Characterization was used to search the idea of corruption within the text. “Do you really think they’ll give it?” from this quote we can see that boys can’t even trust the police. The police said that they would give them money for doing the work, but Gardo didn’t believe they would pay him for doing the work. Another brilliant quote used showing corrupt in Trash was when Raphael said “when the police get mean you don’t want to be around”. This means that if you do even the tiniest thing, they have infinite power, and they can do what they want. The police can take advantage from you because you are poor, and there would be nothing you would be able to do about it.t
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