What Is The Shift In The Tortilla Curtain

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In T.S. Boyle’s novel, The Tortilla Curtain, the suburban upper middle class culture collides on multiple occasions into that of poverty stricken illegal Mexican immigrants. These collisions of two vastly different cultures begin when Delaney, a self-proclaimed liberal humanist crashes his car into Cándido, an illegal immigrant. These collisions of foiling cultures result in a negative shift of virtues for Delaney. Boyle utilizes the negative shift in Delaney to comment on the upper middle class individuals who identify themselves with positive values who never practice those values when their own comfort and wellbeing is at risk. Following the crash, Delaney’s self-proclaimed liberal humanist values start to be questioned. After Delaney identifies…show more content…
In the beginning of the novel, Delaney is shown as an activist against walls that are being planned to be built around his community. Delaney states how as a liberal humanist, he is against the building of the wall because it is wrong to separate themselves from society because they have more money. Delaney’s stance on the construction of the wall and his values shift after Delaney’s car crash into Cándido and the forest fire incident. After the car crash and the forest fire incident, Delaney becomes an active advocate for the construction of the wall. Delaney argues that the construction of the wall is necessary to ensure the safety of the people who live in his community. Delaney’s shift in stance on the construction of the wall was caused solely by the interactions he had with Cándido and the two Mexican individuals; in both events, Delaney was never negatively impacted. However, because of the inconvenience that these events caused Delaney, Delaney wishes to build the wall to prevent future inconveniences from what he believes was caused by illegal Mexican
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