Fire and Flood

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Date Submitted: 09/25/2011 03:08 AM

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Jessica Gentner 15.04.11

Tortilla Curtain: Fire and Flood

The book "The Tortilla Curtain" written by T. C. Boyle is about the conflict between US citizens and illegal immigrants from Mexico.

After Cándido was knocked down by Delaney with his car, the lives of the prosperous family Mossbacher and of the Mexicans Cándido and América collide. Their lives get out of control and Delaney shows more and more racist traits although he calls himself a natural humanist. Cándido and América wanted to live the American Dream, but it didn’t come true. América is pregnant and has to give birth to her baby in a shed near a great fire. They have to fight to survive. Finally, the racism of Delaney Mossbacher increases and he stands in front of Cándido and América with a gun. Then a catastrophe happens because there`s a flood all over the landscape and their baby dies. Cándido and América survive and they see the white hand of Delaney grasping at the tiles. Then Cándido took hold of it.

There are often natural disasters because of climatic factors and geological conditions in these areas. Hot Santa Ana winds are usual in the summer and fall and it’s very arid. Contrary to the climate in December, November and January where there are huge rainfalls. Therefore fires are a natural part of chaparral ecology and it would have happened at this time of year with or without the turkey just because of the climate.

Cándido forced to live in the chaparral and América sets fire to the canyon while cooking a Thanksgiving turkey Cándido receives from a supermarket giveaway. Jack Jardine’s racist son gives the turkey (which he got presented from the store) to Cándido because he wants to see uncomprehending Cándido’s reaction while giving him the bird. América wasn’t careful enough with cooking the turkey and then the fire flares up high and gets out of control. After the huge fire the whole community is evacuated. The people established strict measures of precautionary because of...