Andy Mulligan

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Trash: Part 5: Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

There is a traffic jam approaching the graveyard as crowds pour in for candlelit festivities among the graves. Raphael knows that the police wouldn’t have buried José Angelico, 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 guard, and get directions. They search until dark, feeling grey, dirty, and invisible among the wealthy crowd. Gardo climbs up a marble angel to get a better view. Then the boys see “the brightest light”: thousands of poor people’s candles from the other side of a wall. The graveyard is divided into two parts, they were on the wrong side all along.
The boys’ sense of invisibility at the graveyard shows that society ignores poor children instead of helping them. The necessity of a bribe once again exposes the pervasive spread of corruption in the city. Additionally, the division of the graveyard symbolizes the unethical divide between the city’s rich and poor, while the “brightest light” metaphorically represents the poor as a united communal entity, and it also implies that they are the beacon of hope for this corrupt city.
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