What are the characteristics of Raphael in Trash?

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The entire thematic core of Andy Mulligan's Trash is one of seemingly hopeless economic and social desolation. The narrative follows a group of people who live on a dumpsite and make their entire living by sifting through trash and searching for things to sell. This sort of situation would...

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The entire thematic core of Andy Mulligan's Trash is one of seemingly hopeless economic and social desolation. The narrative follows a group of people who live on a dumpsite and make their entire living by sifting through trash and searching for things to sell. This sort of situation would make any person bitter and resentful about the circumstances of their lives, and it does in many cases, but the main character of Trash, Raphael, seems to be completely immune to negative emotion.

In fact, Raphael seems to almost enjoy his lifestyle. In the opening lines of the narrative, Raphael describes himself as "a trash boy with style." He is proud of the work he does for his small community and never abandons his dreams of a better life despite the harshest of circumstances. When Raphael is sent to jail, it is revealed that he is far more of a central figure in his community than anyone was willing to admit and, in fact, many of the people living on the dumpsite look up to him even though he is a young boy.

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