19 September 2014
Essay Assignment One
Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character (Albert Einstein Quotes). Those who have poor outlooks on life have weak characteristics. The characters in the Tortilla
Curtain show their weaknesses though Fear, Selfishness, and Anger.
One of the weakness the characters show throughout the Tortilla Curtain is fear. T.C.
Bolye had shown America's fear when he wrote, “Her clothes were soaked through by the time the entrance to the path came into sight, and she ran the last hundred yards, ran for the cover of the brush while the cold beams of light hunted her down, and she had to crouch there in the bushes till her breath came back to her.” (19) America was terrified running back to her camp avoiding being caught by the police, she feared every day getting sent back to mexico.
In contrast Jack, many of the people living in Arroyo Blanco, and in America for that matter, live in fear of illegals coming over the border. ”You heard Jack Cherrystone speak to the issue, and nobody’s credentials can touch Jack’s as far as being liberal is concerned, but this society isn’t what it wasand it won’t be until we get control of the borders.” ( 104) While hiking
Delany was frightened when he heard people speaking spanish and immediately felt like he was going to be harmed. “Some hikers carried guns. Delaney had heard of robberies on the
Backbone trail, of physical violence, assault, rape.”( 117) Along with fear, selfishness is another weakness of the characters in The Tortilla Curtain. Delany felt like giving Candido $20 was all he could do after hitting Candido with his car. “Money had changed hands, there were no witnesses, and the man was gone, out of his life forever.” ( 9) He was too selfish to care for
this man or even take him to the hospital. Jordans dad was offering him a choice in granola bars but he didn't want either type. “From a month laden with kiwi: “papaya Coconut.” “You got the last one yesterday.” ( 34) Even though Jordan has everything given to him he still consistently wants what he can't have. While trying to work to feed her, her baby, and her husband America's work was almost stolen from her because mary wanted the work even though it wasn't hers to take. “She doesn’t speak any English what do you want with her?” (
87) As with fear and selfishness, anger is another weakness of the characters