The Tortilla Curtain Analysis

Decent Essays
In The Tortilla Curtain, T.C. Boyle strives to show the economic and social divide between illegal immigrants and middle class American citizens. He does this by showing Candido Rincon, an immigrant from Tepoztlan, Mexico, crossing paths multiple times with Delaney Mossbacher, a white middle class American living in the complex of Arroyo Blanco. Delaney, a self-proclaimed Democrat, over his interactions with Candido and other Hispanics, deviates from his liberal views and descends into overt racism. Likewise, Candido has the intentions that mirror his name - the name “Candido” comes from the latin word “candidus, a, um” which has a connotation of pureness - but as he gets more and more desperate, he diverges from his honest work and resorts to stealing and scavenging. Candido’s and Delaney’s actions display each’s descent into savagery. The coyote, a traditional symbol of savagery, applies to both Candido and Delaney. Delaney writes an entire entrance into his nature blog Pilgrim at Topanga Creek regarding the coyotes: “yet I can’t help thinking too of the missing pets, the trail of suspicion, the next baby left unattended on the patio. The coyotes keep coming, breeding up to fill in the gaps, moving in where the living is easy. They are cunning, versatile, hungry and unstoppable” (215). The coyote described is clearly a symbol for illegal immigrants, and, more specifically, Candido. Each phrase is a specific reference to a dynamic or event of the story: the “trail
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