Trash

Trash

by

Andy Mulligan

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Trash: Part 2: Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Raphael runs amid the fresh, cool rain, feeling the world come back to him. He realizes that the police had nothing if he was their only clue, and he feels pretty proud of himself, a “garbage” boy, for outsmarting the “garbage police.” Raphael walks three hours to Behala. He tells the reader about José Angelico: it turns out the man was killed in a police station during an interrogation. Raphael shudders, wondering if it was the same room he was just in, and whether the police dropped Angelico out of the window onto that stone floor. Raphael knows that he stuck to his lie for José Angelico and for Angelico’s  daughter. 
Mulligan once again invokes the symbolic reference to the police as the real “garbage” in this story rather than Raphael, who completely outsmarted them despite his poverty and lack of education. Raphael reveals that his strong loyalty to José Angelico is based in their shared experiences with police brutality, implying a sense of solidarity among vulnerable people in the story, even if they don’t know each other.
Themes
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
José Angelico had been arrested on suspicion of robbing $6,000,000 from the vice-president, for whom Angelico worked as a houseboy for 18 years. It’s hard for Raphael to imagine that 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 Olondriz (which was the name on the coded letter). Raphael thinks that the police might have forced José Angelico to confess and that he threw the bag out before they got him. José Angelico wrote to Gabriel Olondriz because the police were coming for him. Shaking in the rain, Raphael knows that he, Gardo, and Rat will have to deliver that letter to Olondriz in Colva Prison. 
Mulligan reveals the extent of wealth disparity in this society: the vice-president’s fortune is so tremendous that it’s unimaginable to a poor child like Raphael. Raphael’s suspicion that the police forced José Angelico to confess reinforces the growing implication that the police are corrupt and they are likely working for the vice-president. Again, Raphael emphasizes his sense of solidarity with José Angelico when he reveals his intentions to deliver the letter to its intended recipient.
Themes
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon