Quotes

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on August 5, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 568

Let me tell you what we're looking for.

Plastic, because plastic can be turned into cash, fast—by the kilo.

And I know what everyone finds, because I know what we've been finding, for all the years I've been working, which is eleven years. It's the one word: stuppa, which means—and...

(The entire section contains 568 words.)

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this Trash study guide. You'll get access to all of the Trash content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

  • Summary
  • Themes
  • Characters
  • Analysis
  • Quotes
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Let me tell you what we're looking for.

Plastic, because plastic can be turned into cash, fast—by the kilo.

And I know what everyone finds, because I know what we've been finding, for all the years I've been working, which is eleven years. It's the one word: stuppa, which means—and I'm sorry if I offend—it's our word for human muck.

In the above quotes, Raphael reveals the privations people in his village endure on a daily basis. Everyone is so poor that the Behala dump-site, which has piles as high as the "Himalayas," is termed a treasure trove. However, most of what everyone finds is human feces. Mulligan's fictitious story of extreme privation is juxtaposed against human instances of courage, compassion, and love. The Behala dumpsite, however, mirrors real-life locations in the developing regions of Central America and South Asia, where open dump-sites contribute to air and water pollution.

"Ten thousand is a lot of money!" she said, and her voice rose up. "Have you thought what we could do with that?"

I interrupted then. "You think they'd give it?" I said. "You really think they'd give it?"

"I think they would!" she said.

Raphael shook her hand gently . . . " . . . If someone here—one of us—if one of us got all that money, you think we'd be allowed to keep it for long?"

In the quotes above, Mulligan reveals the prevalent corruption among law enforcement officials in Raphael's city. Although the police have promised a reward of ten thousand dollars for the leather bag, there is little evidence (based on their past actions) that they will pay it.

In the story, Raphael is later interrogated and subjected to harsh physical treatment at the hands of the police and detectives. Although they eventually release him, Raphael's terrible experience reinforces the reality of living under the authority of those who enjoy unfettered power.

I had expected cells, but all I saw was cages. They were on my left and right, and they were the type of cages you might put lions and tigers in, in an old-fashioned zoo.

In the above quote, Mulligan uses visual imagery to emphasize an unsentimental view of criminals within the prison system. Prisoners are likened to lions and tigers, ferocious animals known for their unbridled strength and vicious brutality. The prisoners are also held in cells that appear to be cages. The text tells us that the cages are just high enough to allow a short man to stand up. The cages are stacked three high.

"The word is, he did it with a fridge."

"What?" I said. "Did what with a fridge? You saying six million dollars . . . what—"

In the above quotes, Raphael finally learns how Jose Angelico outsmarted everyone. Accordingly, Jose put the six million dollars he stole from Senator Zapanta in an old (broken) fridge. As the houseboy, Jose was instructed to replace the Senator's broken fridge with a new one. So, Jose made the order and then rode away with the delivery men (after the new fridge was delivered to the Senator's house). Along the way, Jose made a deal with the delivery men: he paid them two thousand pesos to take the fridge to a cemetery.

Unbeknownst to everyone else, Jose hid the six million dollars in one of the graves on his family's grave site. It is there that Raphael, Gardo, and Rat find the money.

Illustration of PDF document

Download Trash Study Guide

Subscribe Now
Previous

Analysis