The Tortilla Curtain

by

T. Coraghessan Boyle

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Jack Jardine Character Analysis

President of the Arroyo Blanco Estates Property Owners’ Association, and Delaney and Kyra’s neighbor. A lawyer by trade, Jack Jardine is also openly racist; it is he who uses the phrase “the tortilla curtain.” Initially, Delaney finds Jack off-putting, not only due to his bigoted views, but also because of his manipulative, slightly sleazy personality. However, by the end of the novel, as Delaney descends further into his own state of bigoted paranoia, he comes to think of Jack Jardine as a friend.

Jack Jardine Quotes in The Tortilla Curtain

The The Tortilla Curtain quotes below are all either spoken by Jack Jardine or refer to Jack Jardine. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of The Tortilla Curtain published in 1996.
Part 1, Chapter 7 Quotes

“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 was—and it won’t be until we get control of the borders.”

The borders. Delaney took an involuntary step backwards, all those dark disordered faces rising up from the streetcorners and freeway onramps to mob his brain, all of them crying out their human wants through mouths full of rotten teeth. “That’s racist, Jack, and you know it.”

Related Characters: Delaney Mossbacher (speaker), Jack Jardine (speaker)
Page Number: 101
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Tortilla Curtain LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Tortilla Curtain PDF

Jack Jardine Character Timeline in The Tortilla Curtain

The timeline below shows where the character Jack Jardine appears in The Tortilla Curtain. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 1
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
Fate, Luck, and Egotism Theme Icon
...his wife, Kyra, and tells her he hit “a Mexican.” Kyra immediately suggests Delaney inform Jack Jardine, the president of their neighborhood property owners’ association, of the accident. Later in the... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
...the people living at Arroyo Blanco Estates. The meeting is a special session convened by Jack Jardine in order for the community to vote on “the gate issue.” Though Delaney privately... (full context)
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
Belonging and the American Dream Theme Icon
Delaney listens as various community members, including Jim Shirley and Jack Cherrystone, comment on the gate issue. He begins to worry, thinking: “Crime? Up here? Wasn’t... (full context)
Fate, Luck, and Egotism Theme Icon
...sits outside the community meeting as the vote is held, feeling foolish about his behavior. Jack Jr., Jack Jardine’s son, approaches Delaney and begins chatting with him. Eventually, Jack Jr. asks... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 7
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
...the reader knows, is the same store frequented by Cándido and América), Delaney runs into Jack Jardine. The two engage in a heated discussion about the newly-erected gate in Arroyo Blanco.... (full context)
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
Delaney insists that Jack’s logic is racist, but Jack continues to argue that immigrants “coming in through the Tortilla... (full context)
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
Belonging and the American Dream Theme Icon
Before leaving the store, Delaney “concedes” to Jack that he accepts the gate because “none of us want urban crime up here—that’d be... (full context)
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
...Delaney is still ruminating on the encounter. He wishes he had pointed Cándido out to Jack Jardine as the man whom he hit with his car, identifying Cándido as “a nuisance,... (full context)
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
...eyes of his Mexican” (Cándido). Delaney ends the phone call by asking Kyra to call Jack Jardine. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 8
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
Fate, Luck, and Egotism Theme Icon
...down into the canyon to violate a poor man’s few pitiful possessions.” (Cándido has mistaken Jack Jr. for Delaney’s, rather than Jack Jardine’s, son. He will continue to operate under this... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 1
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
Fate, Luck, and Egotism Theme Icon
Belonging and the American Dream Theme Icon
...and he is frustrated that no one seems to be taking his situation seriously. Even Jack Jardine has “used the occasion to deliver a sermon,” telling Delaney: “We’re under siege here—and... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 3
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
Belonging and the American Dream Theme Icon
Violence Against Women Theme Icon
Kyra’s announcement makes Delaney remember an evening he spent with Jack Jardine two nights prior. Jack Jardine took Delaney to the house of Dominick Flood, a... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 6
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
...canvassing Arroyo Blanco Estates about “the wall issue,” along with Erna Jardine and Selda Cherrystone. Jack Jardine had called her two days after Osbert was killed by the coyote and convinced... (full context)
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
...kid yourself. It’s about Mexicans, it’s about blacks. It’s about exclusion, division, hate. You think Jack gives a damn about coyotes?” Delaney tried to prohibit Kyra from working on the committee... (full context)
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
Belonging and the American Dream Theme Icon
Violence Against Women Theme Icon
...He is outside playing paddleball at the Arroyo Blanco Estates community center when he overhears Jack Jr. and another boy telling racist, misogynistic jokes about Mexican women. He realizes that Jordan... (full context)
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
...onto his street and sees a man in a backwards baseball cap (José Navidad) crossing Jack Cherrystone’s lawn. Delaney recognizes the man as the “hiker” he encountered in the canyon, and... (full context)
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
...looks down at the flier in his hand he realizes it is a message from Jack Jardine about the wall. (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 1
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
...so early in the afternoon, even on a day dedicated to self-indulgence like this one.” Jack Jardine approaches Delaney and chats with him about the angry response letters generated by Delaney’s... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 5
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
...walk before dinner to look for Dame Edith. While Delaney and Kyra are out walking, Jack Jardine drives by and tells them, “There’s something I just discovered I thought you might... (full context)
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
Jack takes Delaney and Kyra to the wall, which has been tagged with spray-painted symbols. Jack... (full context)
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
Fate, Luck, and Egotism Theme Icon
...“those sons of bitches who’d spray-painted the wall” and report them to Immigration for deportation. Jack Cherrystone has agreed to let Delaney use his darkroom, as he has in the past... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 7
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
...that he has six exposed photos. He then jogs home to fetch his handgun, which Jack Jardine convinced him to purchase six months ago for “home protection.” (full context)
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
Fate, Luck, and Egotism Theme Icon
...to use their darkroom. He develops the six new photographs and finds that it is Jack Jr. who graffitied the wall, “the spray can plainly visible in his big white fist.”... (full context)