The Tortilla Curtain Essay

855 WordsNov 12, 20094 Pages
In the novel The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle there is a recurring image of the coyote. It is a strong symbol of the immigrant world portrayed in the book. The author shows the real animal when the Mossbachers’ dog is taken and killed by a coyote. The family is outraged and in order to keep out any other wild animals, the Mossbachers erect an even higher fence around their property. After awhile another coyote hops into the yard and captures and kills the families second dog Osbert. After this incident it becomes clear to the Mossbachers that no matter how big a fence they build around the house they can do nothing to stop the coyotes. This also coincides to the fact that the neighborhood association is contemplating whether or not to put in a wall around the neighborhood, not to keep out coyotes, but to keep out illegal immigrants. But just as the taller fence did not keep out the coyotes, a wall will not stop the continuing development of illegal immigrants. In the book Delaney writes in his column about his own experiences with coyotes. He writes how one coyote makes his living on the fringes of the community and has learned to chew his way through the irrigation pipes whenever he wants to drink. This is a parallel to Candido’s story. Candido does the very same thing as the coyote. He sneaks into the neighborhood and has to steal basic necessities in order to survive and support his family. Delaney also states that trying to trap the animal is useless. Even if a trap were to be set up in every backyard, studies have shown them not to work. In the same column Delaney goes on to declare that the coyote is not to blame because he is only trying to survive, trying to make a living and take advantage of the opportunities available to him. However, unlike his thoughts towards the coyote, Delaney sees Candido and people in the same

More about The Tortilla Curtain Essay

Open Document