Trash

Trash

by

Andy Mulligan

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Rat / Jun / Jun-Jun Character Analysis

A dumpsite boy who’s approximately 11 years old. Rat isn’t “lucky” enough to live in the shanty town that’s built on the dumpsite because he has no family there, so he sleeps in a wet trash hole among the rat’s nests (which is how he got his nickname). Rat is a streetwise young boy who lived for a while at the city’s train station, but he wound up in Behala because he heard about the charity-run Mission School there. Rat befriends Father Juilliard and Olivia Weston (the volunteers who run the school) and he begins lifting money from the school’s safe to get by. Rat is dangerously malnourished and he’s so filthy that he blends in with the trash, often going unnoticed by others. Though Rat doesn’t trust anyone, he falls into a fast friendship with two other dumpsite boys named Raphael and Gardo and he joins them in their search for a fortune that was stolen and hidden from a corrupt vice-president by a man named José Angelico. Despite being illiterate, Rat is highly intelligent, quick-witted, and light on his feet. His cleverness saves the boys’ lives on multiple occasions, most dramatically during a police chase across the rooftops of the city. Rat eventually realizes his dream of escaping to a better life in Sampalo along with Raphael, Gardo, and a young orphaned girl named Pia Dante. It’s Rat’s idea to distribute the stolen fortune in Behala for the trash kids to find, thus realizing José Angelico’s dying wish that the money be distributed among the poor.

Rat / Jun / Jun-Jun Quotes in Trash

The Trash quotes below are all either spoken by Rat / Jun / Jun-Jun or refer to Rat / Jun / Jun-Jun. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ember edition of Trash published in 2011.
Part 1: Chapter 4 Quotes

Trash is often wet, and the juices are always running. Maybe the ground here was a bit lower, I don’t know—but it was always muddy […] I got down low with the candle, trying not to breathe too deep because of the stink […] It might seem crazy asking a kid if you can come into his hole, but this hole was about the only thing Rat had, apart from what he wore. I would not have lived there – anywhere would have been better.

Related Symbols: Trash
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

When Smoky Mountain went down, there were nearly a hundred killed, and everyone knows some of those poor souls are still down there, down with the trash, turned into trash, rotting with the trash.

Related Characters: Raphael Fernández (speaker), Gardo, Rat / Jun / Jun-Jun
Related Symbols: Trash
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1: Chapter 5 Quotes

On the other hand, I did not want Raphael hiding and drawing attention that way, so that’s why I kept him right in the middle of it.

Related Characters: Gardo (speaker), Raphael Fernández, Rat / Jun / Jun-Jun
Related Symbols: Trash
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1: Chapter 6 Quotes

I was told once about runaways, and it made me sick. How if a new kid shows up with nowhere to go, and the police get him—they wait till night, break his legs and put him on the tracks.

Related Characters: Raphael Fernández (speaker), Gardo, Rat / Jun / Jun-Jun
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: Chapter 2 Quotes

It sounds crazy, but there was some part of me sure I’d never found it, and some other part of me begging me not to give up—maybe for José Angelico, because we knew more about him now.

Related Symbols: Trash
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3: Chapter 1 Quotes

Little Jun had me wrapped around his little finger in about two days, and I was forever giving him little bits of food, and little bits of money. I don’t know how else a boy like that survives.

Related Characters: Olivia Weston (Sister Olivia) (speaker), Rat / Jun / Jun-Jun
Page Number: 84
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3: Chapter 5 Quotes

What matters is that forty years ago I came upon information that Senator Zapanta had spirited away thirty million dollars of international aid money […] But no schools or hospitals were ever built, and the city stayed poor.

Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: Chapter 4 Quotes

Once again, the trash boys were ahead of the trash police.

Related Symbols: Trash
Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: Chapter 6 Quotes

Rat had been chased so often, and grabbed at so often, that he must have had extra senses.

Related Characters: Raphael Fernández (speaker), Gardo, Rat / Jun / Jun-Jun
Page Number: 179
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: Chapter 7 Quotes

What was ten million dollars doing in your house, sir?

Page Number: 188
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 5: Chapter 1 Quotes

We were amongst wealthy people in very fancy clothes, and we felt even greyer and dirtier, but there was nothing for it, and still nobody was worrying about us – no one seemed to see us, like we were ghosts.

Page Number: 198
Explanation and Analysis:

And that is when we saw the brightest light.

Related Symbols: Brightest Light, Trash
Page Number: 198
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 5: Chapter 5 Quotes

I wanted to hang back and see what happened when the first trash boy of the morning hooked up—not a stupp, but a hundred dollar bill.

Related Symbols: Trash
Page Number: 220
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Trash LitChart as a printable PDF.
Trash PDF

Rat / Jun / Jun-Jun Character Timeline in Trash

The timeline below shows where the character Rat / Jun / Jun-Jun appears in Trash. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Chapter 3
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...the way the police looked at Raphael. Gardo says they ought to hide it with Rat because nobody ever goes to that part of the dumpsite—not even the other dumpsite kids. (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 4
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Rat’s real name is Jun-Jun, but he’s nicknamed Rat because he lives in a trash hole... (full context)
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
Raphael explains that they need to hide a bag and Rat cheerfully agrees to stash it in his walls, though he warns the Raphael and Gardo... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 5
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...the dump trucks coming in from the upscale McKinley neighborhood, where the bag went missing. Rat just sits there and smokes while the other children search. Rat is so grey and... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 6
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
The next day, Raphael and Rat convince Gardo to lead them to the station. Gardo insists they go early to avoid... (full context)
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...order to avoid the station guards. Gardo nearly falls on Raphael, whereas Raphael notices that Rat is agile and fast. The three of them are immediately herded into a corner by... (full context)
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
Rat knows exactly what he’s doing: he ducks behind some customers while Raphael and Gardo walk... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 1
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
...when they need to scavenge to survive and have so few prospects. Father Juilliard knows Jun (referring to Rat’s real name). The two of them became friends, and Father Juilliard gives... (full context)
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...Sister Olivia, is actually—and foolishly—more involved in Raphael’s tale. One Thursday, a thin and ashy Jun offers to pay if he, Raphael, and Gardo can use the school’s aging computer to... (full context)
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
Jun takes a sandwich; his filthy, skeleton-thin hands make Father Juilliard “wince.” Juilliard has grown very... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 2
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
...anything wrong. The policemen reply that they know but they keep driving anyway. Even though Rat has the wallet, Raphael resolves to say nothing. The boys know about José Angelico—there’s “a... (full context)
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
...ankle, where all Raphael can see is a stone floor far below. Later, Gardo and Rat ask if Raphael came close to confessing, but he says that some deep part of... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 3
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
...sort of money, which is even more in pesos. On the computer, Raphael, Gardo, and Rat learned that José Angelico was an orphan who’d been adopted by the son of Gabriel... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 1
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...house-mother at the Mission School, says she also has a part in this story; Raphael, Rat, Gardo, and Father Juilliard asked her to “write it down carefully.” Originally, she traveled to... (full context)
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
The day after Raphael returns from the police station, Jun brings him and Gardo to visit Olivia. When Raphael arrived at Behala, bloody and beaten,... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 2
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...a special plan for Father Juilliard. He thinks Raphael and Gardo were “smart” but what Jun did really shocked him.   (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 6
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
In the present day, Gardo says that he’s sorry about tricking Olivia. Rat wanted to confide in Olivia, but Gardo refused, and for that he’s sorry. Gardo was... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 8
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
...he hopes to see her again and to thank her in person. Meanwhile, Raphael and Rat are restless while Gardo are at the prison. They pore over the letter, which they’ve... (full context)
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
Rat says the rats ate the bag and he warns Raphael not to rob him. Raphael... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 9
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
Rat starts narrating (with Raphael writing for him). The boys take a bus to the terminal.... (full context)
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...gently asked what the boys want. Raphael panics and he runs into the grass, but Rat yells out to calm him, knowing there is no danger. Rat tells the gardener that... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 10
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...in a vicious drought. Olivia left a part of her heart with the boys, especially Rat, and she tearfully thanks them for “using” her.  (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 1
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...in with sirens blaring, and the boys know they have to run. The boys grab Rat’s money and they sneak out through the trash with no time to say goodbyes. Rat... (full context)
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...out alive. So they wait, watching the news, which features many pictures of Senator Zapanta. Rat is aching for the “fat pig’s” money and he thinks if he ever gets to... (full context)
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
A week later, Rat goes back to the dumpsite in the back of a garbage truck. He doesn’t tell... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 2
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
Rat feels awful about stealing the money; the boys agree to return it if they can... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 3
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
During the commotion, Raphael saw Rat running toward Gardo. Raphael takes off in the other direction, running into traffic and he... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 4
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...“Go to the map ref where we lay look for the brightest light my child.” Rat remembers from school that “map ref” meant they had to find coordinates on the map.... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 5
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
The police come quietly as the boys were fold the map. Rat doesn’t know how he heard the ladder creak—maybe it was José Angelico and Gabriel Olondriz’s... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 6
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
Raphael thinks that Rat must have extra senses from being chased so often—he knows to bolt when he hears... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 1
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
...so they look for a family grave instead, but the graveyard is a crowded maze. Rat decides to ask a guard; it takes a few hours to buy flowers, bribe the... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 3
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
...girl didn’t think José was coming—she’s been waiting for a week and he hasn’t come. Rat asks who the girl is, and she responds, “Pia Dante.” Raphael goes cold and he... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 4
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
...get some food, especially for Pia. As Pia starts to eat, however, she became feverish. Rat, who’s been starved before, knows what to do: he feeds Pia water and a chopped-up... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 5
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
Jun says that he no longer goes by “Rat.” Even though he’s narrating the last part... (full context)
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
...it) into the heavy typhoon wind, which scatters money like a storm all over Behala. Jun wishes he could have seen the first boy to pick up a $100 bill instead... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 6
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Raphael, Gardo, Jun, and Pia Dante get on the train, looking just like all the other school kids... (full context)