Trash

Trash

by

Andy Mulligan

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Trash: Part 3: Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Rat starts narrating (with Raphael writing for him). The boys take a bus to the terminal. Though Raphael is beaten up, he does the talking since Rat would be turned away for being too filthy. They ride two hours to Green Hills, past malls and stadiums, and into a lush “paradise” by the ocean, much nicer than the “sludge and stupp we call Behala.” Rat knows that Raphael is scared, so Rat keeps a fast pace to distract him. They approach Senator Zapanta’s gate, which is guarded with dogs and machine guns. Raphael gets nervous but Rat keeps going, climbing a tree to get into the grounds. The boys gape as they scurry past a golf course, trees, ponds, impossibly soft grass, and Zapanta’s “fairy tale” castle of a house.
The fact that Rat is shunned in public spaces underscores the extent to which most people ignore the plight of impoverished children—they’re more focused on their own revulsion than on their desire to help those condemned to a life like Rat’s. The luxury of Zapanta’s compound reinforces the degree of income disparity in this society and it underscores the injustice of a society that allows children to live in human waste while powerful figures live in an inaccessible “paradise.” Meanwhile, Rat once again displays his emotional intelligence through his ability to manage Raphael’s fear.
Themes
Childhood, Poverty, and Injustice Theme Icon
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon
Suddenly, from behind, a gardener 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 they’re just roaming. The gardener, happy for company, sits for a smoke with the boys. Cheerfully, he explains that the police have been all over for days. Rat stays silent, waiting for the gardener to let the story out himself. The gardener says that apparently, José Angelico, a “nice enough boy,” smuggled out $6,000,000 in a broken fridge—and the gardener couldn’t be happier about it. He hopes that José Angelico gave the money away before the police killed him, because Senator Zapanta stole from everyone, even the boys and the gardener himself.
The gardener’s amicable attitude with the boys and his glee at José Angelico’s successful robbery implies that the gardener feels a sense of solidarity with others who are poor in comparison to Zapanta’s wealth. Mulligan explicitly identifies Zapanta’s wealth as a deplorable theft from those who are less privileged. José Angelico’s clever act of smuggling the money out of Zapanta’s compound in broken fridge implies once again that the wealthy severely underestimate the intelligence of the poor.
Themes
Corruption, Power, and Theft Theme Icon
Community, Loyalty, and Solidarity Theme Icon
Intelligence, Education, and Street Smarts Theme Icon