The Tortilla Curtain By. Boyle Essays

The Tortilla Curtain By. Boyle Essays

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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. 215). It is very apparent in the story that there are separations between classes by the way the author uses the “ wall” as a symbol of such separation. The Tortilla Curtain shows the divide between those who live within the “wall” and those on the outside. Among many social issues discussed in The Tortilla Curtain, social class is one issue that is prominent throughout Boyle’s novel. Similarities and differences between the two families, the Mossbachers and the Rincons will be discussed to illustrate the important topic of social class.
T.C. Boyle’s novel The Tortilla Curtain begins when two lives collide on Topanga Canyon. Delaney Mossbacher is a middle-class white American of “32 Piñon Drive, Arroyo Blanco Estates” (1) and Candido Rincón an illegal immigrant from Tepoztlán, Mexico. Delaney, dazed and confused in his “freshly waxed Japanese car” has had an accident, hitting Candido as he crossed the busy canyon road” (1). Both men stood there as they examine each other, the “unwitting predator and unwitting victim” (Boyle, 8). Delaney, a nature lover, who lives with his successful real-...


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...” “spatial assimilation theory” predicts that racial and ethnic residential segregation results at least in part from socioeconomic differences across groups (Iceland and Wilkes, 2004. 248). In the novel, the “wall” of the Arroyo Blanco Estates symbolizes that segregation and separation of social classes, separation of race and ethnicity and the very barrier that separates California and Mexico. Regardless of this separation, any class, rich or poor, American or Mexican, everyone experiences pain and suffering and love and compassion. There might be differences between the poor and the rich from the type of homes they live in and the kind of food they can afford, but one thing will still remain, we are all human beings and we all occupy this Earth. Ultimately mother nature will not care which class you belong in, or what race you are when natural disasters occur.

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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]

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