Essay on Analysis of Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle

Essay on Analysis of Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle

Length: 922 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Analysis of Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle

T.C. Boyle establishes the general setting of “Tortilla Curtain” by
giving detailed information on the place and providing hints about the
time. The place of action is established in the first chapter when
Delaney Mossbacher hits a Mexican with his car. This accident occurs
on a road near the Topanga Creek (cf. p. 12) in a suburban area around
Los Angeles, California[1]. Throughout the novel Boyle uses original
sites around Los Angeles in the plot, which makes the novel realistic.

The time of action is not as clearly introduced as the place. The Diet
Coke on the backseat of the car (cf. p. 9) leads to the assumption
that the novel is set up after 1982[2]. This assumption is supported
by a major topic of the novel: Mexican immigration, which has
developed decisively after 1970[3]. More detailed information on the
time is given when the reader learns that the exact model of Delaney’s
car is Acura Vigor GS (cf. p. 151). This car was produced by Honda
after 1992[4].

The mood of “Tortilla Curtain” is difficult to determine. It
alternates between hopeful and hopeless; sometimes it is aggressive
and often gloomy. The changes of mood are a result of the change of
perspective in each chapter, showing two different views on the same
setting in an alternating pattern.

The changes of perspective also have an effect on the society which
Boyle depicts in “Tortilla Curtain”. On the one side there are
Americans, who live in a clean and safe area in the suburbs of Los
Angeles, and on the other side there are illegal Mexicans, who have to
struggle to survive. Both societies exist in parallel and live in the
same area, and yet they cannot differ more.

The differences in ...


... middle of paper ...


...ms. Delaney believes in the
beginning of the novel in peaceful coexistence of different cultures
within a nation. He trusts in the constitution and he believes that
the human rights covered by the constitution have to be applied to all
human beings in the country (cf. pp. 188-189). But in the end he even
refuses América and Cándido the right to live and is willing to hunt
them with his gun. Boyle clearly criticises the attitude of
upper-class Americans towards immigration. It is ironical, that he
gives names of recent European immigrants to racists like Jardine,
Obst and Liebermann, whose intention is to reduce immigration.


Works Cited

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topanga

[2] www.dietcoke.com

[3] www.cis.org/articles/2001/mexico/numbers.html

[4] www.google.de “Acura Vigor GS”

[5] http://dict.leo.org/cgi-bin/dict/urlexp/20050605120438

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Permeability of Walls in The Tortilla Curtain Essay

- After World War II, the United States of America became a much wealthier nation. As America gained wealth and the populations in urban cities and transportation technology increased, many Americans spread out, away from the urban cities, to fulfill the common dream of having a piece of land to call their own. The landscape constructed became known as the suburbs, exclusive residential areas within commuting distance of a city. The popularity and success of the suburban landscape caused suburbs to sprawl across the United States, from the east coast to the west coast and along the borders between Canada and Mexico....   [tags: TC Boyle, Literary Analysis]

Better Essays
1829 words (5.2 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of The Book ' The Tortilla Curtain '

- In the novel The Tortilla Curtain, written by T.C Boyle the reader is presented with two distinctive families who both shared the same dream—the American Dream, without even taken any notice of it. Boyle separates both families by giving them a different form of life styles distinguishing them from one another. In one side living at the top of the hills we have the Mossbacher’s, who live in a wealthy community; at the bottom of the hill the Rincon’s live out in the open—literally. This indicates that the Mossbacher’s represent the wealthy and the Rincon’s represent the illegal immigrants in America....   [tags: Immigration to the United States]

Better Essays
1298 words (3.7 pages)

The Tortilla Curtain By. Boyle Essays

- Karl Marx, one of the founding fathers of Sociology defines class as “those who share common economic interests, are conscious of those interests, and engage in collective action which advances those interest” (Hammond and Chaney, 2012, p.39). The Tortilla Curtain, by T.C. Boyle gives a glimpse of how people from different social classes live, interact and pursue the “American dream.” “Differential association” is a theory that discusses the “distance within the social space,” where social interactions will occur most likely between people who are socially close and relatively infrequently between those who are socially distant (Prandy....   [tags: Sociology, Social class, Social status]

Better Essays
1400 words (4 pages)

Essay on The Tortilla Curtain By. Boyle

- Racism comes from different cultural values, ethnic backgrounds, as well as the physical appearances. The conflict of racism occurs when the majority group of society feels that the different cultures and values of the minority group bring deviance to the society. The novel, set in Topanga Canyon, starts out with an major accident that occurs and involves Delaney Mossbacher, a middle-class working man, and Cándido Rincón, an illegal Mexican immigrant. Delaney accidentally hits Cándido with his car and only pays Cándido twenty dollars for treatment....   [tags: Sociology, Social class, Minority group, Culture]

Better Essays
755 words (2.2 pages)

Nature's Creatures in Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle Essay

- ... Similar to the coyote’s strong instinct to be willing to do anything to survive, Cándido Rincon is forced to trespass private property and even though he thinks, “[I] was no looter, no thief,” he knows “this was a question of survival, of necessity––he had a wife and a daughter and they had to eat…” and he climbs over the wall into a house with a garden and a shed that would provide both food and tools to build a shelter for his family (299). Cándido’s instinct kicks in when he realizes that the only way to survive is by making the difficult decision of stealing from other’s property, like the coyote taking the dog from Delaney and Kyra to eat and survive....   [tags: mexican immigrants, coyote, behavior]

Better Essays
981 words (2.8 pages)

Tortilla Curtain Essay

- Tortilla Curtain The chapter starts with Delaney hitting an unidentified man on the highway while going through Topanga Canyon. Delaney hits Candido, one of the other main characters in the play. After Delaney hits him with his car, he then immediately asks himself if his car is all right. He gets over that, and realizes that he just hit a human being. The next paragraph is Delaney searching for the body and yelling "hello." He finally can hear some grimacing that comes from some nearby bushes....   [tags: Tortilla Curtain Immigration Literature Essays]

Free Essays
5629 words (16.1 pages)

Essay on Questions and Answers on The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle

- The Tortilla Curtain 1) Tell some themes in the novel, what things does the author want to make the reader aware of. In other words, why do you think he wrote this novel. The first theme the novel is trying to convey is the act of racism and how illegal immigrants were being treated. At the beginning of the novel the author let us know what happened after Delaney knew the race of the person had hit with his car. Had it been the victim was a white American like him he wouldn’t have given him 20 dollars and leave him to die instead of taking him to the hospital....   [tags: immigration, themes, symbolism]

Better Essays
1064 words (3 pages)

Racism in The Tortilla Curtain by T.C.Boyle Essay

- Is wanting a better life a crime. Does everyone not deserve the right for a better life and to be considered a human being despite the means that they used to try and get it. In this novel The Tortilla Curtain, by T.C.Boyle he brings up the theme of racism that is constant towards those who are struggling for a better life even if it’s through illegal means. He shows this by using main character Delaney Mossbacher a Caucasian self-proclaimed liberal humanist, Candido Rincon a Mexican illegal immigrant and their families (Boyle 3)....   [tags: illegal immigrants, ethnicity]

Better Essays
921 words (2.6 pages)

Tortilla Curtain Essay

- Tortilla Curtain: Jack Jardine Jack Jardine is a very interesting character in the story Tortilla Curtain. He has a very strong influence on Delany Mossbacher, one of the central characters in the story. His influences, along with the tragic string of events concerning Delany and Candido, produce a complete turn around in the ideals of Delany by the end of the story. At the start of the story Delany is a 'liberal humanist';, albeit a hypocritical one, but by the end of the story Delany is carrying a gun looking for Candido....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
876 words (2.5 pages)

Analysis of The Astronomers Wife by Kay Boyle Essays

- Analysis of The Astronomer's Wife by Kay Boyle In the "Astronomer's Wife" by Kay Boyle, something as simple as a conversation with a plumber about a stopped elbow is enough to trigger an awakening in Mrs. Katherine Ames. When Mrs. Ames realized that the plumber was talking about something she understood (the stopped elbow), she realized that her marital problems were not the result of a division betwwen the sexes; instead, she realized that some men, like the plumber, are as practical as she is, and that some other men, like her husband, scorn people like her because they are intellectually inclined....   [tags: Astronomers Wife Kay Boyle Essays Papers]

Free Essays
778 words (2.2 pages)