In chapter five of the novel “The Tortilla Curtain” by T.C. Boyle, we get to know Kyra’s character much better, and it gives another view on white American culture. As a real estate agent, physical appearance means everything. She constantly judges those she works with based on their appearances. The ability to look good and to keep up personal appearances becomes a sign of success and wealth, for people like Candido and America do not have the money to get such looks. Kyra’s nose is proof of her obsession with appearance. She is also used as describing the stereotypical American workaholic attitude, ignoring her family, and she is always in a rush to get to her job. The fact that Kyra’s sexual desire is triggered by disasters is the idea that people like her and Delaney are both afraid of and drawn to unpredictability.
In chapter six, there was a scene where Jack Jardine, Jr. and his friend destroy Rincon’s campsite while terribly injured and helpless Candido watches from the rocks nearby which was probably one of the most shocking scenes in the novel. The hatred that is shown as they ruin the Rincon’s only possessions just because he is Mexican is Jack Jr.’s role in the story. He is clearly racist against Mexicans and is completely convinced that they are dangerous, but his son takes the racism differently. He grew up around anti-immigrant beliefs, which makes his powerful feelings and violent actions more frightening.
We meet Jose Navidad, the half-white, half-Mexican drifter who plays a big role in both the Mossbachers’ and the Rincons’ journeys. People assume that he is another dangerous Mexican immigrant, and don’t trust him because of his appearance. Navidad can always be seen with a man wearing a traditional Mexican poncho. He flirts América at the labor exchange, and he begins to invade on the Rincon’s sanctuary in the canyon. He will continue to appear in the places that are most important to the different characters.
Should Mexicans be Granted Amnesty (1) It is estimated that there are about 12 million illegal immigrants live in this country, which mostly consist of Mexicans. Many naive people in U.S. suggest that illegal immigrants need to be given a chance of becoming American citizens. Political populists exploit this topic to raise their rating among Hispanics. One of them is Senator Edward Kennedy, who is ...
America meets two more characters who provide another release for Boyle to explore the white American population. First is Mary, a large white woman with an alcoholic habit who is at the labor exchange looking for work.
America describes her clothing as cheap fabric that you might find in a brothel, and carries a bottle of liquor with her. Mary has a terrible work ethic and spends most of the work day complaining. The second character is Jim Shirley, the man who employs America. He is a very obese man who not only cheats America out full pay but also touches her in an inappropriate manner. Mary and Jim are stereotypically American in their obese figures and complaining, lazy natures. They complete Boyle’s picture of American culture.
In chapter seven, there is another meeting between Candido and Delaney. In some ways Delaney acts the same as he did the first time, and in other ways different. Similar to the first encounter, Delaney’s thoughts are to feel sorry for the Mexican. He shows how when he first sees the Mexican his feelings of guilt are brought back and he feels sorry for the way he has to live. One thing that is unlike the first meeting is that Delaney’s feelings of guilt do not go away as easy.
After the first time when Delaney ran into Candido, Delaney thought that all immigrants were bad and that he should not feel bad. This time after he doesn’t do anything to help, he continues to feel guilty when he goes home. This time was Delaney doesn’t try to help at all. The first encounter Delaney gave Candido money and offered to help, but the second time he was an observer. I think that the fact that Delaney didn’t try to help and then continues to feel guilty is the most important difference in the second encounter.
In chapter eight, América has returned for a second day to work for Jim Shirley, which reveals more about both America and Shirley than before. Her dedication to work through the pain of using cleaning chemicals without gloves not only shows her incredible work ethic but also reveals just how scared she is to approach her white employer. She is even afraid to use the bathroom because she is afraid of angering him, but when she does, the readers get a better idea of her American dream. She is fascinated with the bathroom, and the fact that something so small and unimportant in the view of people like Shirley fills her with so much longing is just an insight in how much the Rincons are struggling. We see that Shirley is not apologetic about forgetting to give America gloves, and even seems upset at her for not telling him sooner. His terrible treatment is unsurprisingly sad. She is just a machine to him, there to do his every command and not deserving of any sympathy.
"The Evolution of Women in Society" Throughout United States history oppression of people has always been prominent, whether through African American's and segregation or Asian American's during the Vietnam War. What is often ignored is our history of the oppression of women. No matter what time in history, there is always a case to be found of the discrimination over gender. Many people know of ...
The first part of the book describes the situation of both families very precisely. You discover some differences of the two families about the economic situation as well as the mindset. For example you can notice a change Delaney’s attitude toward the illegal immigrants. He gets more and more angry towards their existence in his close neighbourhood and their way of life. I really liked the change of the stories and characters in part one. Every chapter treats just one of the two stories and the change of the chapters often hints an unknown meeting of the two men.