Analysis Of T. C. Boyle's 'The Tortilla Curtain'

1511 Words 7 Pages
The 1990’s in Southern California is a period recognized by the frequent talk of illegal immigration. It is a time marked by Proposition 187, the1994 Save Our State (SOS) initiative to make illegal aliens ineligible from using non-emergency health care, public education, and other public services in the State of California ( “California’s Proposition 187” ). Between 1990 and 1995, more than 1.1 million migrants came to the United States every year on average (Passel and Roberto). Illegal immigration was a hot topic during this time and, like many, T.C Boyle was unsure of his feelings toward the issue. Boyle uses The Tortilla Curtain as an attempt to “sort things out for himself,” and along the way seduce readers to do so themselves (Sunnyvale …show more content…
Boyle’s The Tortilla Curtain follows the struggle of illegal immigrants who venture into the United States. Boyle uses Delaney to compare the Mexican immigrants to the predatory coyote creating an initial view of illegal immigrants as animalistic and sub-human. As a naturalist, Delaney Mossbacher is familiar with the animals and demonstrates his internalized racism by gradually merging the desperate coyotes that have broken into his backyard, with the immigrants who have entered his country. Boyle draws frequent parallels throughout the story to magnify the evolution of the animalistic nature of illegal immigrants to the view of all humans as a single …show more content…
Although not mentioned in The Tortilla Curtain, Prop 187 is an example of this. The initiative of making illegal aliens ineligible from using public services can be seen as a form of population control created in hopes of keeping immigrants out of Southern California. (“California’s Proposition 187”). “Following Prop. 187 were additional anti-immigrant measures such as Prop. 209 and Prop. 227 that proposed to outlaw affirmative action and bilingual education” (Barreto). Just like the anti-immigrant Propositions, Delaney calls for a higher wall to keep the “coyotes” away, however, that is not the

Related Documents