The Tortilla Curtain

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Part II, Chapter 3 in T.C. Boyle’s The Tortilla Curtain


In Part II, Chapter 3 of The Tortilla Curtain, Delaney’s life finally feels like it is returning back to normalcy. He is preparing a barbeque on a Sunday evening in mid-August, while his wife, Kyra is stretched out by the pool relaxing, but her work still by her side. They ate their dinner and began conversation about how she, “Kyra” had cleaned up Shoup, by telling Mike, her boss, that something need to be done or people would stop house shopping up here. Delaney began daydreaming about a meeting with Jack Jardine and a few of his neighbors. It was his first time meeting Dominick Flood and learning of his house confinement. The main agenda for the meeting was to disgust the wall the neighbors wanted to put up to keep the intruders out. To this Delaney was in complete shock. Upon returning from his daydream, the scene of yet another one of his dogs, Osbert, being swept up by the coyote in front of their eyes this time was of complete surprise.


Delaney is definitely one that dominates Part II, Chapter 3 of The Tortilla Curtain. Delaney is still considered the liberal humanist, who believes in nature and feels that everyone should have right whether legal or illegal, but you can start to see him slowly evolve into a more reactionary racist, fueled by his anger of the accident and everything happening to him. Delaney has openness to anything around him such as his work but yet he is conscientiousness of everything that he does and what his family does. You see Delaney changing in this chapter by words he is using such as this statement he made to Kyra, “ “Mexicans,” Delaney said, and there was no hesitation anymore, no reluctance to identify people by their ethnicity, no overlay of liberal-humanist guilt. Mexicans, there were Mexicans everywhere.”

Kyra is conscientiousness about everything that she does, whether it being how her work has to be just perfect for the...
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