Tortilla_Curtain_Essay - Immigrant at Coyote Canyon Along...

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Immigrant at Coyote CanyonAlong the California-Mexico border, as well as in the city of Los Angeles, there is what some might call a creature that lurks around hunting and scavenging for survival. It is a careful, cautious thing, possibly even paranoid, and does whatever it can to not get caught. But this thing,this “creature”, is not really what you may suspect; what I am referencing can be either of two things: a coyote or possibly an illegal immigrant. Or two to be exact. In the novel, The Tortilla Curtain, there is a central metaphor that links Candido and America Rincon, and all illegal immigrants in general, and the coyote(s) that live in the area of Arroyo Blanco Estates. In the story, both the Rincons and the coyote cross a border into an area where they shouldn’t be, and sometimes scavenge food or supplies from the people of Arroyo Blanco. Delaney Mossbacher recognizes the similarities between the two “nuisances” in his life when he writes an article that is supposedly about coyotes but could be also interpreted as being about illegal immigrants. The metaphor of the coyote and Candido, America, and the other illegal immigrants helps Boyle’s novel shed light on the immigrant’s side of illegal immigration.In the third chapter of the first part and in the third chapter of the second part, respectively, there are two similar events involving a coyote and one of the Mossbachers’ dogs, Sacheverell first, then Osbert. These events serve a further purpose for the author, however, whenthinking about the metaphor being made between the coyote and the Rincons. Delaney Mossbacher and his wife Kyra were eating breakfast one morning when all of a sudden they heard a dog’s barking. It was one of their dogs barking as it turned out because there was an intruder; a coyote had found its way into the yard, and was working its way back out of the yard with Sacheverell in its mouth. Sadly though, a coyote, possibly the same one as before, later makes another appearance in the Mossbacher’s yard. This is evident later on in the book when it
can be seen that “It was inside the fence, pressed to the ground, a fearful calculation in its eyes asit stalked the grass to where Osbert lay sprawled…” (194). The coyote had gotten into the yard and once more snatched up the second of the Mossbachers’ dogs. As evident by these two events

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