How does the story of Trash end?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Andy Mulligan’s novel Trash , the boys of the dump live by their wits. The extreme poverty of their circumstances and the scarcity of opportunities require them to be creative and sometimes ruthless just to survive. Thus it is essentially impossible for them formulate and pursue any goals...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

In Andy Mulligan’s novel Trash, the boys of the dump live by their wits. The extreme poverty of their circumstances and the scarcity of opportunities require them to be creative and sometimes ruthless just to survive. Thus it is essentially impossible for them formulate and pursue any goals beyond the immediate future. In some novels, the children would be morally uplifted and learn the consequences of illegal acts or moral wrongdoing. Mulligan does not offer this kind of moralizing. Instead, his story suggests that unexpected, and in some ways unearned, wealth can make a meaningful difference in people’s lives, regardless of the way they became wealthy. The author thereby encourages the reader to question the concept of merit—to consider who deserves wealth and what constitutes earning.

In the end, Raphael, Gardo, and Rat find their way to a cache of millions of dollars and also discover Pia, a girl in danger. They understand that their lives will never be the same again. Their path to unearthing the money was by no means linear or entirely ethical, for Raphael resisted turning over the wallet they found. But Mulligan does not suggest that the boys are unworthy of getting rich. In fact, through their actions, the boys rescue Pia. The money will presumably lift them far above poverty, and one can only hope that the boys will not forget their camaraderie in the wake of their windfall.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team