The Tortilla Curtain: Essay - Sayndia Sando CMP 120-G3 The...

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Sayndia Sando CMP 120-G3 The Tortilla Curtain Essay 11/18/19 Racism, and How Its Detrimental Effects On Others Can Be Depicted Through Fiction Racism has always been a huge social issue in the United States of America. As one of the wealthiest and most influential nations in the world, America’s citizens have always considered themselves to be superior to races. For a long time, the brunt of the country’s negative focus was on the African-American race, but there's another ethnic group who suffers as well: Mexicans. Especially in states closer to the border, Mexican people suffer racism and stereotyping similar to, but nowhere near as bad as the horrors endured by African-Americans at the time. Author T.C. Boyle brings this unfortunate truth to life in his novel, The Tortilla Curtain. This book depicts the lifestyle of an upper-class white family in California alongside that of an undocumented couple from Mexico. The main characters of the novel are Delaney Mossbacher and Candido Rincon. Boyle uses Delaney and Candido’s beliefs and actions towards each other to depict the less than welcoming sentiments associated with Mexican people. This novel takes readers through Delaney’s evolution from a liberal humanist to a full-on racist. It also shows how racial stereotyping is a toxic mentality that has negative effects on all parties involved. Racism and hatred, as seen in Delaney’s thoughts, words and actions, affect both his and Candido’s lives. Right from the start of the novel, Delaney’s slight prejudice towards Mexicans is shown. The novel opens with Delaney accidentally hitting Candido with his car. Candido is severely injured but refuses medical help. This leads Delaney to realize that Candido is
undocumented. As soon as the word Mexican was paired with undocumented in Delaney’s mind, any sympathy he may have held for the man was gone. Instead, he starts running through different scenarios, all of which put the Mexican at fault for the accident. As Delaney turns this

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