The American Nightmare

Topics: Immigration to the United States, Illegal immigration, Human Pages: 7 (2781 words) Published: November 19, 2006
"They ain't human. A human being wouldn't live like they do. A human being couldn't stand it to be so dirty and miserable." A quote from John Steinbeck's book The Grapes of Wrath, perfectly words the reaction to the life that Candido and America Rincon live. Illegal immigrants, Candido and America live a life of poverty and destitute in America . Their lack of luxuries and even bare necessities, bring to light their struggle to reach the American Dream. Living in a canyon not to far from the rich suburbs, the couple is forced to live like animals in order to survive, to find work, and to make a better life for their unborn child. Writer Delaney and his realtor wife Kyra Mossenbacher, and their son Jordan, live in Arroyo Blanco Estates, a housing development only a walk away from Candido and America's camp, in which they live comfortable lives and have an abundance of what Candido and his wife lack. Living in a gated community with extravagant vehicles and fabulous lives, their living conditions are constantly compared to the living conditions of Candido and America . . These two parallel lives meet in a car accident situation where Delaney accidentally hits Candido and apologetically hands him 20 dollars to help his level of guilt. In a chain of shattering and unlucky events, Candido and Delaney meet once again in a tragic incident that proves that no matter how hard you work in this life success is not always attainable through hard work and misery. Wealth and dreams do not become real life just because one summons to work from dusk until dawn or because one is willing to break his/her back doing filthy work, this does not equal success, nor riches, and certainly not happiness. T.C Boyle makes it unclear as to what his book The Tortilla Curtain, stands on, on illegal immigration. It is not obvious what opinion it accords with. T.C. Boyle lets the reader decide what argument wins in his tragic comedy. This book conveys ideas and stories of two families and one story, but the book is only a small description of a bigger global issue. To clearly review this book a description of the premise of the book, the Sociological understanding, and the description of the contributions the book makes to the understanding of society, is needed. Symbolism and motifs will be are also very helpful in understanding the main issue. The book revolves around a hypocritical stance on immigration. As the book switches from Delaney's point of view to Candidos perspective, it is not clear cut as to what the author wants to project as the message of the book. T.C Boyle lets the audience decide what side to choose or who to sympathize with. In a metaphoric attempt to compare the coyotes who trespass the estate, to the illegal immigrants, Boyle shows how Delaney, the ideal liberalists, turn racist and against his own ideology. In Delaney's nature column he defends the coyote by saying ""The coyote is not to blame--he is only trying to survive, to make a living, to take advantage of the opportunities available to him." In the same column Delaney concludes his article by saying "The coyotes keep coming, breeding up to fill in the gaps, moving in where the living is easy. They are cunning, versatile, hungry and unstoppable." This example of hypocrisy towards the coyotes is the same hypocrisy Delaney has for the Mexicans. A bleeding heart liberal such as Delaney whose work revolves around nature and the environment, turns into a racist. In a discussion with Jack, Delaney defends his view of the Mexicans by stating "Do you realize what you're saying? Immigrants are the lifeblood of this country--and neither of us would be standing here today if it wasn't." Later in the book, Delaney's rage turns racist and any Mexican he sees infuriates him. In his mind he thinks they're everywhere. There is no denying anymore that Delaney hatred views begin to spew out when he attempts to kill Candido for trespassing in his yard. When before he sated that...
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