This page is a small insight into the some of characters in Trash, Raphael, Gardo, Rat and Jose Angelico. Including some useful quotes.
In the very first chapter Raphael tells the reader, “I am a trash boy with style.” ( p.6) this implies that even though Raphael is a trash boy he is proud of it and may be a little better off in some ways compared to other boys living on the dumpsite. He is not only a boy but an important part of his family and later on in the book when Raphael is taken by the police we discover that he is the core of his community. The people living on the dumpsite are, yes, fighting for their own lives but have formed a tight community around themselves, they are a group, just like people living at Central Station or around Colva Prison. Raphael fights poverty, not having enough food, no proper shelter or getting an education, although he faces these challenges everyday and more, Raphael is a small boy with a lot of strength, he wants to get somewhere in life.
Quotes about/by Raphael:
“You should see me, dressed to kill. I wear a pair of hacked-off jeans and a too-big T-shirt that I can roll up onto my head when the sun gets bad. I don’t wear shoes- one, because I don’t have any, and two, because you need to feel with your feet.” P.5
“I was a trash boy since I was old enough to move without help and pick things up. That was what- three years old, and I was sorting.” P.5
“A long time later I would think to myself: Everyone needs a key. With the right key, you can bust the door wide open. Because nobody’s going to open it for you.” P.9
Gardo is like a big brother to Raphael. He is strong and protective, never leaving Raphael’s side. The two go through everything together. Such as when Raphael is arrested, Gardo feels it too, “Gardo was right with me at once, and he was talking fast, saying, “What are you doing? What has he done?” P. 56. This tells the reader just how much Gardo cares about Raphael and through out the whole book Gardo continues to display his caring nature.
Quotes about/by Gardo:
“Gardo- the bold boy- put his hand very gently on his [Raphael] arm before turning back to me.” P.79
“Gardo got his arm around me but someone pushed him off… He was screaming at me. trying to get to me,and a policeman grabbed him by the neck and threw him off.” P.56
Rat, is a small but clever boy who really does live up to his name. He is fast but sneaky, dirty but charming and is friendly. Rat is always getting things from the mission school as he appears to be sweet and useless. He saves the money that he is giving so, surprisingly is one of the riches people on the dump.
Quotes about/by Rat:
“Rat is a boy- three or four years younger than me. His real name is Jun-Jun. Nobody calls him that, though, because he lived with the rats and has come to look like one. He was the only kid in Behala that I knew of who had no family at all…” P.19
“The kid was sitting up, just in his shorts, gazing at me with frightened eyes and his big broken teeth sticking out of his mouth.” P.22
“I am the best hearer, the best jumper, the best runner-they think I brag, but they know it’s true!” P.159
“Rat saw a once we had to dive back in among them… It was the smarted thing he ever did.” P.163
Jose Angelico is a man of mystery in Andy Mulligan’s novel, Trash. The boys, Raphael, Gardo and Rat, discover little bits and pieces about Jose as they strive to uncover the secret of his murder. We know only small bits about Jose, one of which is in chapter seven, part four. This is where Frederico Gonz, a grave memorial maker tells the reader all he knows about about Jose and his family as he made memorials for his daughter, son, and Jose himself. Also near the start of the adventure the information they find in the purse tell the reader details about Mr. Angelico. A man of the age 33, unmarried and living in Green Hills, employed as a houseboy, and does not appear to be wealthy in any way.
Quotes about Jose Angelico:
“I met Jose Angelico the way I meet many of my customers. I have a workshop on the cemetery road, just past the coffin makers. I specialize in the small, simple stone. I am very aware that my clients have next to nothing, and renting the grave has often taken most of their money. So I modify and modify and get down to the very lowest cost. The dead, however, must have that stone: the reminder, the eternal reminder, that this man, this woman, this child—existed. On some of the graves the name is marked in paint, or even pen, and everyone knows how sad that is. Make something out of stone, I say, and no one touches the grave. The poor are not buried, you see. There is not enough ground here anymore, so in the Naravo they build upwards. The graves of the poor are concrete boxes, each just big enough for the coffin. They go up and up—in some parts twenty boxes high. A funeral here is to slide the coffin in and watch the sealing of the compartment. Part of my service is that I cement the stone that I’ve made into place, and thus seal the chamber.” P.166
(note to reader: with this character analysis I have tried not to give to much away of the story as that would prevent people from having enjoyment of discovering answers to the mystery of Jose Angelico.)