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Themes in Trash

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Emily Lizzio

on 30 July 2014

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Transcript of Themes in Trash

In this novel, Friendship is a main theme in this novel. The two protagonists in this novel; Raphael and Gardo are very close and have grown up together. Throughout the novel, their bond grows stronger as well as the one they share with a boy with no family called Rat who they learn more about. Rat, Raphael and Gardo stick together through police interrogations, threats and lifes struggles, "Who cares who did what when the whole point was we did it together?"was a statement by Rat. They would always have each others back, take hits for each other and support each other no matter what problems they faced (many of which were life threatening such as almost being killed for lying) Raphael feels very connected and secure with Gardo, and though they are not blood brothers, they are just as close. Gardo states "He's not my brother but might as well be, because he always knows what I'm thinking, feeling- even what I'm about to say." to which Raphael replies "One thing I know is that I'd want him on my side, always. Raphael is my best friend" The two friends are very close which is evident in the novel which ends with them leaving their families for Rat's home town where they leave their life behind to be fishermen with only each other and an unknown and unfamiliar world.

Poverty is a major theme in Trash. The protagonists are born into poverty and if they hadn't found an item which changed their lives, they would have been destined to be at the dump site for the rest of their life.When you're born into a place that poor it is hard to change your lifestyle and the way society treats you. As an example, Raphael states: "The dangerous bit was going to be the locker. They’d assume right away that we were thieving." . Due to their lack of cleanliness, they would instantly be looked down upon and assumed to be stealing since people would assume they couldn't afford a locker. Being born into poverty may already make people suspicious and wary which is unfair but a common occurrence in society. In the novel, Raphael stated: “a couple of kids looked at us with a kind of mean-eyed suspicion, like this was their territory – which it was.”If they stepped out of line, the kids would alert the police who would most likely assume that the boys were thieving. At a train station locker, boys in old, worn out clothes are not a common sighting.

Police Corruption
In the novel, the last the main theme is Police corruption. This is evident in the novel in several moments at the beginning of the novel, and at the end. the way people can use money to sway people opinions and judgement is easily shown in the novel. An example of the corruption is in the sentence: "If the police think you’ve got something, they won’t stop ‘till they’ve got it from you” which is a statement from Gardo which further enforces the fact that the police are corrupt. They would go through any means necessary to have possession of an item they believe someone has. Another example is an another thing stated by Gardo later in the novel, “When the police get mean, you don’t want to be around.” This explains how even the more naive members of the village know that messing with corrupt policemen can be dangerous because they don't follow specific rules which enforce humane methods of gaining information or objects. A man was killed in interrogation in the novel because the police didn't have to be civil or humane and we instead corrupt.

Appearance vs. Reality
Appearance vs. Reality is another theme in Trash. The three protagonists in the novel, Raphael, Gardo and Rat, all have lived in the Behala dump site and are all in similar situations, having to work from a young age for money to purchase the simple necessities in life. They haven't had the privileges which are given out so easily in developed countries however even though they are in a situation most would have accepted, they continued to have hope and outsmarted policemen, the principal of their school and the social worker. An example of the boys' wit is shown in the statement "Me, the garbage boy had just lied his way out from under the noses of those clever police men. A little garbage boy had sat there shaking, saying, 'I don't have the bag', when all the time I knew exactly where it was and what was in it. The garbage boys were way ahead of the garbage police, and I had said nothing to those men". Raphael stayed silent through their interrogation and wasn't intimidated because he was a dump site boy. Even though these boys were underprivileged, forfeiting an education to work for food and water, they outsmarted qualified policemen with science and technology as an aid in their investigation as well as a police force there to support at a minutes notice. It just goes to show that appearance can be deceiving and though they looked rough an uneducated, they were smarter than the policemen,. Olivia, the social worker bought Gardo a new outfit for the visit to his 'Uncles' jail cell and he instantly looked more refined and as a child of a developed country would which is shown in this statement: "He emerged from the changing room, and he was simply no longer a Behala dump site boy". In
Appearance vs. Reality is a very important, it proves that looks can be deceiving.
Emily Lizzio
Themes in Trash
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