The Toritilla Curtain

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Tortilla Curtain

Marcus Dutkiewicz

Race, Ethnicity, Class, Gender
Catriona McHardy
April 10, 2013

T. Coraghessan Boyle writes a magnificent story of how racism and discrimination affects the lives of people living in a privileged society. He reinforces that a prosperous community such as Topanga Canyon (Los Angeles) has ecological instability between its inhabitants and illegal foreigners. The Tortilla Curtain focuses on two separate cultures, the white and financially stable race, and the poor, undocumented immigrants of Mexico. Although they both reside in the land of the free, the white race reigns supremacy while the lighted-colored citizens south of the boarder struggle for equal rights and survival. The story of The Tortilla Curtain revolves around two families living in southern California. The families contradict one another based upon societal standards in the United States of America. In a community housing-development, Delaney works writing columns about nature while his wife is a successful realtor. For the most part they live a safe and peaceful life. However, Kyra (Delaney’s wife) and the members of their community would feel safer if all the Mexican were deported. Boyle describes Delaney as a liberal humanist for he is not bothered by Mexicans trying to work and make a living in his country. The opposing main character to Delaney is Candido. Candido is a thirty year-old man hailing from Mexico. With hardly any money at all, he camps out in the mountains of Topanga Canyon with young, pregnant wife America. Candido must compete with other undocumented citizens at the day-labor-exchange in order to work and provide for his wife. Then, tragedy strikes. This unleashes a multitude of discrimination on behalf of women as well as, victimization between people cast at the bottom of society. Candido was crossing a state highway when he was suddenly struck by an oncoming car. The driver of the car, Delaney, left the undocumented...
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