In the novel, The Tortilla Curtain, by T.C. Boyle a couple experiences life in California and never know whats going to happen. They find out life as they thought it would be, really isn’t how they imagined. They go through some great hardships that will forever change their lives and change their thoughts on things. Candido and America went through the most hardest times in this novel, they are illegel immigrants, they have no money, and Candido turns into a criminal doing all he can to survive.
In his essay “Outlaw”, Jose Antonio Vargas admits that he is an undocumented immigrant, and decided it was time to come clean. His essay begins at age twelve, and follows his journey to adulthood, as he fights for full United States citizenship. Not only do I consider Vargas heroic for his determination, but also brave for publishing his story despite possible consequences he may have faced for revealing his immigration status.
A common theme in this short reading is the unsettleling feeling that Jose Antonio has during his life in the U.S. regardless of the age or political environment he is in. At some point he gets recognition from the renowned Washington Post, giving him an offer of two years of paid internship once he graduated. He did just this and even in a dream work scenario he still felt so uncomfortable with his position as a “citizen” that he told his new peer and part of management, Peter. Jose Antonio goes out to say that his “anxiety was nearly paralyzin” and he felt as though he had an “illegal immigrant” tattoo on his forehead.
Denice Frohman also criticizes the superstructures that suppress the Latinx community, specifically the undocumented community. Denice Frohman recites, “Ana Maria is now 16. Her father works 18-hour days as a dishwasher. Her mother cleans houses she’ll never get to live in so that Ana Maria can sit in a college classroom and say, “I am here.” But her guidance counselor tells her she can’t get financial aid or the instate tuition rate because of her status. She says it like an apology. Ana wonders if her family ever crossed the border, or if they are just stuck inside another one, aggravating it like a soul. Her guidance counselor stands in front of her with a mouth full of fences” (). Denice Frohman narrates the structural hardships that undocumented families usually face. The arduous labor that is accepted from undocumented immigrants and their families but not their full acceptance into an exclusive society. The dehumanization of immigrants who are here to work towards a better life, but work so hard and never actualize their dreams. Moving across one border to be faced with another border. A border full of limits that forgets about the humanity of those it ousts.
The racist connotation that Miss Jimenez associates with who she thinks would “fit in” society’s box is a definite reflection of the hardships Valdez witnessed in his community. For example, the Zoot Suit Riots that occurred in 1944 was rooted by a reaction by young Mexican-American males against a culture that did not want them to be a part of it. Stuart Cosgrove examines this issue when he states, "In the most obvious ways they had been stripped of their customs, beliefs and language.” (*Vargas 317) These youths were going through an identity crisis because they did not know which culture they could identify with. Miss Jimenez is a character that embodies that repression Valdez explains in “Los Vendidos.”
The tortilla curtain is a wonderful book showing a typical life of both a Hispanic family chasing the American and a white family that is born in. The white wealthy stay at home father Delaney mossbacher is faced against life as a modern day America and an immigrant from Mexico, Candido rincon looking for nothing but to fulfill the American dream that for him and his young wife which begins to seem unreachable due to the constant troubles begin to face. These two character throughout the story show very similar traits both positive and negative, while both sharing ways they overcome struggles of living life in modern day America. Both being fathers and/or soon to be fathers, how they
modules gives many examples how strong cultural pasts lead to identity problems in a new society. Also, the module shows us that many Mexicans were not happy with the stereotype formed about their identity. In Between the Lines, we see how Mexicans in America suffer through harsh discrimination, while trying to stay close to their relatives and culture. The letters talk about how Whites did not have concerns with family values or cultural beliefs. Whites based many of their values off succeeding in the economy. Whites in general had no regard for Mexicans as people.
Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, shares his life-long journey as an undocumented immigrant in his text, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant.” As the title suggests, Vargas attempts to convey to his audience, who likely never has and never will experience anything similar to what he has, what it is like to live as an immigrant in the United States of America. Skillfully, Vargas details the perfect number of personal stories to reach the emotional side of his audience, which is anyone who is not an immigrant. Through the use of his personal accounts Vargas is able to effectively communicate that immigrants are humans too while simultaneously proving his credibility, as he has experience and a vast amount of knowledge
The book, Honor and the American Dream: Culture and Identity in a Chicano Community, and the film, Salt of the Earth, both relay to their audience, the pursuit of happiness within the Chicano community in which they live. These works aim to show how Mexican-American immigrants fight to keep both their honor and value systems alive in the United States of America, a country which is foreign to their traditions. The Mexican-Americans encountered in these works fight for their culture of honor in order to define themselves in their new homeland, a homeland which honors the American dream of successful capitalism.
In the film “Mi Familia,” we follow the story of the Mexican-American Sánchez family who settled in East Los Angeles, California after immigrating to the United States. Gregory Nava and Anna Thomas introduce the story of this family in several contexts that are developed along generations. These generations hold significant historical periods that form the identity of each individual member of the family. We start off by exploring the immigrant experience as the family patriarch heads north to Los Angeles, later we see how national events like the great depression directly impact Maria as she gets deported, although she was a US citizen. The events that follow further oppress this family and begins separate identity formations. These
First of all, the setting of this novel contributes to the Rivera family’s overall perception of what it means to be an American. To start this off, the author chooses a small American city where groups of Latino immigrants with their own language and traditions, lived together in the same apartment building. All these immigrants experienced similar problems since they moved from their countries. For example, in the novel after every other chapter the author
In Pearsall, Texas, the Anglo and Mexican communities were divided to contribute to Elva’s confusion and frustrations of being alone. The immigrant society was lumped together as their own “class” of people:
Jack Jardine is a very interesting character in the story Tortilla Curtain. He has a very strong influence on Delany Mossbacher, one of the central characters in the story. His influences, along with the tragic string of events concerning Delany and Candido, produce a complete turn around in the ideals of Delany by the end of the story. At the start of the story Delany is a 'liberal humanist';, albeit a hypocritical one, but by the end of the story Delany is carrying a gun looking for Candido.
At the start of Chapter three of The Tortilla Curtain, Arroyo Blanco is described as “a private community, comprising a golf course, ten tennis courts, a community center and some two hundred and fifty homes, each set one one-point-five acres and strictly conforming to the covenants, conditions, and restrictions set forth in the 1973 articles of incorporation” (Boyle 30). The aforementioned passage shows Arroyo Blanco to be a typical middle-class American suburban community. The residents of Arroyo Blanco, like Delaney and Kyra Mossbacher, construct their identities around the suburban space. Delaney's identity is shown to
The novel No Country for Old Man portrays a similar perception of the violence along the Mexican-American border, the struggles, and dangers that an immigrant faces. The character of Llewellyn Moss is being chased by Anton Chigurh, a serial killer with the purpose of murdering Moss and anyone who interferes in his goal. Moss took 2.4 million dollars from a drug cartel and his life is in line, “they would never stop looking for him. Never as, in never” (36). Not only is Moss undergoing thru fear and exasperation, it is also his wife, who is later reached by Chigurh. Many immigrants flee from their country for a “better life”, but mainly because of safety. Even though immigrants are settled and safe in the U.S., they experience