Tortilla Flat, written by John Steinbeck was set after World War One in a district of Monterey named Tortilla Flat. This story was about not only the less than glamorous lifestyle lived by Danny and his fellow “paisanos”, but the importance of friendship through bad times over material values. All of the major events carry with them a strong implication of this theme which is often reflected through the characters’ decisions. Along with an incredibly ironic yet powerful friendship based on morals, this story is also is about appreciating the simple things in life.
Each problem encountered by this band of friends was meaningful in its own way. As a reader the most significant events and characters were Danny, his death, and Pilon. Danny began this tale from the beginning as more of a pathetic, alcoholic, useless man, but slowly progressed and evolved into a character that represented unity and leadership. He, being the owner of the two houses, was a clearly distinct leader and executive decision maker among these friends. His symbolic role in the aspect of unity is represented through the repercussions of his death. When Danny goes insane and leaves, the men still have hope he will be back and although it does not appear to be a loss without him they are truly nothing without Danny. These men carried with them throughout the whole story the importance of friendship in their conscience but voluntarily left that behind because it was obvious that they needed him. While Danny represented unity and leadership among friendship, Pilon was a symbol of good intentions and friendship as a whole. With every move Pilon made he always questioned it was a selfish choice or how he could help his friends with the money. Although his many deposits often resulted in drinking with his companions, they often started with the idea of paying rent, giving a gift, or making amends. Pilon was truly a good soul that did not have the funds to support his charitable ideas. His most...
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