Trash, Essential Revision Notes

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Table of Contents

Trash by Andy Mulligan 4

Context 4

Summary 5

Part 1 5

Part 2 7

Characters 10

Raphael Fernandez 10

Gardo 10

Rat (Jun-Jun) 11

Jose Angelico 11

Trash by Andy Mulligan

Context

Andy Mulligan was brought up in South London. He worked as a theatre director for ten years, before travels in Asia prompted him to retrain as a teacher. He has taught English and drama in Britain, India, Brazil, and the Philippines.

He now divides his time between London and Manila. Behala dumpsite is based loosely on a place Andy visited while living in Manila. There really is a school there, and there really are children who will crawl through trash forever.

Summary

Part 1

Chapter One introduces the reader to the main character, Raphael Fernandez. Raphael, a fourteen-year-old dumpsite boy, narrates this part of the story and it entails many interesting ideas about the Behala dumpsite. Raphael and his best friend Gardo spend their days searching the endless amounts of rubbish that cover acres of land. They live knee-deep in trash along with many others, including children. We find out that most families start their children trash searching as soon as they can walk.

Raphael describes himself as ‘a trash boy with style’ (p.6), implying that Raphael may be somewhat better off than others around him even if he is not a normal boy who has a house, food, and family; he is special and is determined to get somewhere in life. Near the end of the chapter, Raphael leaves the reader wondering when he says, “maybe one day you’ll find ‘something nice’. Oh yes. Then one day I did” (p.5). What Raphael finds will change his life forever.

 

Raphael’s ‘unlucky-lucky day’ (p.7) begins at the start of Chapter Two. This is the day that turns his life and many others’ lives upside down. As Gardo, Raphael’s best buddy, and Raphael are searching through trash, glorious trash, they come across an untouched delivery under a belt.

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