Skip Nav

The Tortilla Curtain Critical Essays

Navigate Guide

❶Rincon is struck by a car, beaten and robbed, and accidentally starts a brush fire that consumes their savings. The emergence of a fortress mentality and its phenomenal success is surprising in the United States, where the majority of people live in open and unguarded neighborhoods.

Popular Topics

The Tortilla Curtain
How to cite this page

In practical terms, gated communities restrict access to streets and thoroughfares that would otherwise be available for public as well as for private transportation. And in some cases, gated communities limit access to open space and park land donated by the developer to the municipality or town in exchange for building higher-density housing than allowed by local zoning. Such land is designated as in the public domain, but is available only to people who live within the development.

For wealthy suburbanites, the gated community offers a haven in a socially and culturally diverse world, offering a protected setting for their upper-middle-class lifestyle. The emergence of a fortress mentality and its phenomenal success is surprising in the United States, where the majority of people live in open and unguarded neighborhoods. Thus, the rapid increase in the numbers of Americans moving to secured residential enclaves invites a more complex account of their motives and values Low Like other middle-class Americans, residents of gated communities are looking for a place where they feel comfortable and secure, but this seemingly self-evident explanation reflects different underlying meanings and intentions.

And collectively, their individual decisions are transforming the American dream of owning a suburban home in a close-knit community with easy access to nature into a vision that includes gates, walls, and guards.

The cross-cultural and historical analysis of the meaning of danger parallels the argument developed in the study of Daniel James: Danger encompasses the fear of the stranger, the morally reprehensible, disorderly, or culturally alien person, and the anonymous member of a hostile and threatening social category.

In Topanga, California, as in the large industrializing cities of the nineteenth century, groups appear dangerous not only because they commit crime but also because they are hostile and potentially disruptive.

A sense of danger springs from antagonisms between groups that emerge from both class and cultural differences. The historical examples portray danger arising primarily from class conflicts, but in each case the class antagonisms are reinforced by cultural differences.

In Tortilla Curtain, group conflicts stem primarily from cultural differences, but are buttressed by economic rivalry. Accessed September 15, We will write a custom essay sample on Tortilla Curtain specifically for you.

Leave your email and we will send you an example after 24 hours This lack of human sympathy shows the reader a harsh disregard for a Mexican life. Boyle focuses on a specific region, southern California, for its diversity among the social-economic classes and its closeness to the border. Few places in America are so rich with the immigrant and class divide like this part of California. In the novel, Boyle deliberates southern California as the mirror coating the rest of America and its prestigious land.

The Tortilla Curtain is a novel that projects an in depth analysis of the social unbalance in southern California, in all aspects.

In this novel Boyle tackles the immigration issue that stretches beyond the vertical and horizontal natural borders. Boyle makes use of situational irony, on the where bouts of wanting to kick them out of the country for crossing the borders and its gates, yet these same immigrants get paid for building those borders and gates; which will keep out their own people.. In the essay On Whiteness in T. The coyote is critical to the plot of the story. This animal has hurt Delany and has harmed his family.

Yet this can be read for much more than face value. The Mexican or coyote, are one in the same. They have disturbed his peace, his view of the calm beautiful mountain side. Whether making it dangerous, like the Mexican with the baseball cap, or trashing it with their beer cans. Delany and Kyra have settled in a beautiful home where they will both feel connected to the wild, yet secure in their own community. Peter Freese dedicates a large part of his essay The Tortilla Curtain: A Case Study in the Genesis of Xenophobia, to the topic of ironic borders and the use of Mexican influence in a life these upper-middle class Americans lead.

Workers such as Candido and America both find jobs that relate to this community. Again the Mexican is seen as a negative figure, he has stumbled his way up the mountain looking for his wife and does not want trouble, but as a victim of racism, is threatened on his way towards the market.

And once again is face to face with the man who put him in this horrific condition. This book overflows with hypocritical speech from upper middle class white people. This is an obvious contradiction. There are gangs that have terrorized certain people in the neighborhood, but the gate is much more than this.

It will allow the upper middle class to form a barrier between themselves and the unknown outside world. They will be segregated from the poor where they will not have to feel any sympathy or emotion that will disturb their daily lives.

Delaney is at first outraged at the racist motives of his wife and neighbors, but events soon also turn him against the invaders from the south. Still, Boyle is too good a writer to fail completely. The scenes of man in conflict with nature, during the fire and a subsequent mudslide, are powerful.

Review of The Tortilla Curtain. The Nation , September 25, , Sources for Further Study Kingsolver, Barbara.

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

The Tortilla Curtain study guide contains a biography of T.C. Boyle, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Privacy FAQs

Free tortilla curtain papers, essays, and research papers.

About Our Ads

The Tortilla Curtain Since its very beginnings, the United States of America has been idealized as ‘the land of the free,’ full of new opportunities for people from all around the globe. In The Tortilla Curtain, written by T. Coraghessan Boyle the reader gets an up close view of the border between Americans and Mexican [ ]. The legal two-way flow of people across what some call the “Tortilla Curtain” is almost million a year—nearly twice that through the U.S.—Canadian border. The discussion of “Mexicans” reminds us of T.C. Boyle’s novel about .

Cookie Info

Free Essay: Tortilla Curtain: Jack Jardine Jack Jardine is a very interesting character in the story Tortilla Curtain. He has a very strong influence on. The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle Delaney Mossbacher, the protagonist of Boyle’s The Tortilla Curtain, is the typical American family man. He is married to Kyra, “the undisputed volume leader at Mike Bender Realty, Inc.” and he is the stepfather of Jordan.