"Novels Are Important Because They Teach Us About Other People and Other Places. How Does the Novel Trash Do This?”

Novels provide us with an insight into the world of other people and immerse us in other places that we may not have the opportunity to experience ourselves, the novel ‘Trash’ teaches us about these experiences through a series of underlying themes, these include, friendship, setting, point of view and the issues explored in the text.
‘Trash’ apprises it’s readers to the atrocities that some people in developing countries experience each passing day. For the three main characters in Trash their life consists of trawling through the endless mountains of waste that reside in the fictitious Behala dumpsite, the author does not specify where the exact location of the story is set as he wanted to dew attention the fact that child labour and exploitation occurs everywhere. As Raphael puts it at one point in the novel there is so much waste that “… it goes from the docks to the marshes, one whole long world of steaming trash.” (p.4) By showing people this side of some places the book encourages readers to become more aware of the atrocious conditions some people live in and how fortunate we really are. This is an important life lesson and is successfully shown throughout the book.
The novel ‘Trash’ is centred around the journey of three trash-pickers, Raphael, Gardo and Jun-Jun (Rat), throughout the duration of the novel the boys are thrown into many dangerous situations and escape only due to their teamwork and comradeship. Raphael even states at one point that he and his friend Gardo were “… born seven hours apart, on the same sheet some people say” (p.6) At any given point in the novel the boys could betray each other and take the riches for themselves but they choose not to. This shows the reader that whilst money and financial stability are great temptations, friendship will always triumph. This is an important idealism to possess and is shown at many times throughout the course of the novel.
The point of view changes many different times throughout the novel,...