Trash Chapter Summaries to help you with your studies!

Trash Characters

This page is a small insight into the some of characters in Trash, Raphael, Gardo, Rat and Jose Angelico. Including some useful quotes.

Raphael Fernandez:

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, Raphealno 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, Gardoand 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 (Jun-Jun):

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 Ratthe 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:

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 Jose Angelico, ID photoabout 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.)


Comments on: "Trash Characters" (47)

  1. Thanks a lot!! This really helped me with my homework and review assessment for english. Have you reviewed any other books??

  2. Harrison said:

    Put up some info about Jose Angelico, please?

  3. Thank you!! Really helped with my summer reading test!! Good review

  4. Sam Doering said:

    Please put some info in about Father Julliard and Sister Olivia

    • Sister Olivia studied in Uni, then became a volunteer worker in Behala Mission School with Father Julliard. That is the only information revealed about Sister Olivia, the fact that she is a volunteer worker. Although she later leaves the country due to the ongoing investigation into the Jose Angelico mystery.

  5. Thanks for the information….
    Helped me alot with my English assignment

  6. Sherpa toooz said:

    I’m doing a formal paragraph writing on trash have you got any helpful clues on some questions:
    What does trash reveal about third world poverty
    What can teenagers learn from trash
    Thanks so much!!!

    • It reveals many issues relating to third world poverty. The fact that no one gives much for people living in the dumpsite maybe communicates that nothing is being done to improve the life of people living in such poverty and the life they deserve isn’t being given to them.

      Teenagers can learn from the novel Trash that hard work always pays. The way in which three dumpsite boys were able to solve a mystery before the police may indicate that. Also, living in a corrupt country make people living in a country with democracy realise the importance of a community and the unity that is required to live a sustainable life without the interruptions that come with this.

  7. hello im doing an assignment
    on your book and i would like to know the name of Raphael’s grandma
    this would be greatly appreciated thanks

  8. Yolo SwaggerMcMuffin said:

    Raphael grandma is not in the novel, I think you mean his auntie and her name is not revealed to the reader so you just have to refer her as Raphael’s auntie or Gardo’s mother.

  9. Wait the question is how did raphael change throughout the book

  10. Hey thanks very much for this review helped me with my exam study!

  11. Good info it helped me with a assessed exam

  12. thanks helped a lot :”)

  13. thanks this really did help me on my English assignment

  14. Thankyou soo much i wasnt really prepared to read the whole novel again just to find quotes but do you have anymore ispirational/friendly ones that somebody is saying about some one? 😀

  15. This helped heaps! Thanks

  16. superkika said:

    and what’s about the story?
    it seems sad
    can you just make a short summary of the story?
    This will help me a lot
    Thanks 🙂

  17. Thank you very much! This helped me create an image of the characters in my mind. The pictures really do look like how they are described in the book. Once again thank you. Very good page. Also what country do you think this book is set in? I was thinking maybe Mexico or India. What do you think?

    • Hey! Thanks so much for your support Caity! I believe the story is set in Mexico. however I could be wrong – I’m not 100% sure 🙂

      • Thanks yes I think it is Mexico too 🙂

      • Gus Law said:

        Hi, just pointing out that in my edition of the book, at the back’ there is a page of acknowledgements. The last paragraph says: “Behala dumpsite is based loosely on a place I visited whilst living in Manila. There really is a school there, and there really are children who will crawl through the trash forever. If you come to the Philippines, do what Olivia did, See everything, and fall in love.” – Andy Mulligan

      • In the back of the book it states that it is a non fiction country set in the Philippines

  18. No problem 🙂 Thanks for the help 🙂 Yes thank you I think it is Mexico too

  19. Gus Law said:

    Thanks this helped so much!

  20. English101 said:

    Mulligan states that the setting for the novel is fictitious but loosely based on what he saw in Manila. He purposely keeps the country a secret because he does not want to make the book seem like an attack on a particular country. The use of pesos leads many to think that the setting is Mexico but this is incorrect. Behala exists in India but again, the location of the book is a mix of countries with no specific country ever being mentioned.

  21. percyjacksonfan said:

    Thanks this review is great. Can you please explain about the Multiple Narrative Voices technique that Andy Mulligan uses is Trash? Like each chapter or so he changes characters to who’s narrating the story. And also if you are thinking of reviewing another book I would recommend Crow Country by Kate Constable.

  22. thanks it really helped with my speech

  23. Thanks needed it for my essay

  24. kendall jenner said:

    amazing book i loved it!!!!!!!

  25. MysteryMe said:

    thank you so much this helped me so much!!!!

  26. Thanks a lot, this helped me greatly with my English Assignment which I was struggling with for ages, Greatly appreciated!!! 🙂

  27. Really helpful for my essay

  28. This page is very helpful although is there a page where there is a whole book summary if so that would be great.

  29. Hey guys, Im here because of an essay i have to do tomorrow about the theme of this book! My teacher made the really interesting point of the country never being named, because he leaves it up to the reader to decide, it isn’t clearly set which i think is cool. But i think it may be more set towards the Philippines, because at the beginning it mentions “Smoky Mountain” which is an actual place in the philippines, and in the philippines there are names like Jun Jun and Gardo.

  30. Phoebe Sutton said:

    i love this book its really touching, and its really helped me with my english homework by describing one of them! love it im reading it in my english class aswell soo

  31. Catbug Sweetheart said:

    !his helped so much! i was glad to have found this website and your reviews! Thank you!

  32. thnx soomuch, this really helped me for both my exam and my assessment!!!

  33. Huda_luqman said:

    Thank u for your hard work 😘😘

  34. This website really helped me write my in-class book review thanks! It really helps to draw attention to certain important aspects of the characters which became really helpful when studying for the test.

    BTW i don’t like tests
    okey byee

  35. This was a great review, WOW, I am definantly going to get 100% thanks to you! Thankyou heaps

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