The Tortilla Curtain

identify the racism part in the tortilla curtain

author is T.C. Boyle

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Racism against Mexicans and against immigrants in general is not hard to find - from the very beginning of the story, Jack Jardine, Jack Cherrystone, and Jim Shirley preach the dangers of having immigrants, legal or not, in the United States, and they do not bother to hide their opinions that, while the borders are so loosely regulated, personal safety will be a major issue. These three characters can be seen as the voices of the white middle class population, and their opinions and actions towards immigrants (the shutting down of the labor exchange, the building of the wall around Arroyo Blanco, etc.) are consistent throughout. More physical, hate-filled racism is mainly seen through the character of Jack Jardine, Jr., who not only speaks about Mexican women in a highly offensive manner but also actively seeks out and destroys the Rincóns' camp and all of their earthly possessions. He also vandalizes people's property using Spanish words and symbols, framing the people he so despises. This exaggerated racism is meant to show how racism amplifies across generations, and Delaney has no doubt that Jordan will end up having the same attitudes as Jack Jardine, Jr., if not worse ones. Please check out this excerpt in the GradeSaver site below. There is more detail too.