Trash Andy Mulligan Essay Sample

Trash Andy Mulligan Pages
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Olivia Weston is the temporary house mother at Behala’s Mission School and she has been characterised as a compassionate individual who wants to make a difference to the children’s lives. Olivia’s compassionate nature is revealed primarily through her thoughts and behaviour. Part way through the novel Olivia recounts her trip to Colva Prison with the boys. She begins this section explaining how she “fell in love” with the Behala children and the “eyes looking at me, and the smiles” (p.78). She goes on to share that visiting “the mountains of trash, and the children… is a thing to change your life” (p.78). Olivia’s thoughts immediately position the reader to understand the depth of her affection for the Behala children and her desire to care for them.

Her compassionate nature is further reinforced through her behaviour when she helps the boys visit the prison. In fact, not only does she act as their escort, she pays for their new clothes even though the “prices stunned [her]”, and she pays for the taxi fare even though she “gulped when [she] saw the meter” (p.83). Clearly, Olivia does whatever she can to help the boys, despite the fact that they achieve their goals at her expense.

Characterisation via thoughts and behaviour has positioned the reader to view Olivia as a compassionate individual, whose admirable qualities often result in her being manipulated by those she most cares for.
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One of the central values promoted in Trash, which strongly aligns with my own belief system, is ‘community’ and an appreciation for the support that communities offer. Valuing one’s community is presented through Raphael and his traumatic experience at the police station. When he returned to Behala the “whole neighbourhood came out” because when “one of their numbers is hurt, everyone feels the wound” (p.79). Raphael is grateful for the community’s care and compassion, and it helps him recover from the incident and continue to solve the Jose Angelico mystery. As a teacher, I constantly experience the benefits of belonging to a strong school community.

At the moment in WA, the state government is cutting funding from public education and teachers will be involved in industrial action. My school’s board has endorsed the teachers’ actions and requested that students and parents get behind us too. I am grateful for their support because we will not be successful if we do not have a united voice, and this speaks to why I value the idea of community. On this occasion, my values align with the values promoted in Trash, but this is not the case when it comes to trust.

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