Andy Mulligan

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Trash: Appendix Summary & Analysis

The second letter from José Angelico asks whomever finds this letter to take care of his daughter, Pia Dante. Angelico explains how, inspired by Gabriel Olondriz’s efforts, he meticulously planned over years to steal back the money that Senator Zapanta stole from the poor. The senator “stopped a nation in its tracks” and he stopped other countries’ aid because he stole aid money too. He believed that “to steal is to rise” by stepping on the poor. Zapanta’s one weakness was thinking so little of the poor that he never guessed one of them could outsmart him. Over years of observation, José figured out the pattern of Zapanta’s revolving safe combinations and many other complicated details that enabled him to steal the money. José wishes he could see Zapanta howl after realizing what happened. José reminds whomever finds this letter than the money belongs to the poor, and he signs off. 
José Angelico’s final letter serves the dual purpose of morally justifying his theft and implicating Zapanta as the story’s real thief, since what Zapanta stole is not only money, but the hopes and dreams of a nation and the lives of its most vulnerable citizens. José’s meticulous plan to outsmart Zapanta indicates how intelligent he was despite being poor and largely uneducated. Zapanta’s folly, meanwhile, shows how misguided it is for a person to underestimate a person simply for their poverty or lack of education. As Mulligan shows, such people are the unsung heroes of this society. 
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