The Tortilla Curtain

by

T. Coraghessan Boyle

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Jack Jardine’s eighteen-year-old son. Jack Jr. and his unnamed friend destroy América and Cándido’s camp in the canyon and graffiti it with the words “Beaners Die.” Jack Jr. also tells racist jokes, and is responsible for spray painting the wall surrounding Arroyo Blanco Estates, presumably to stoke tension between the community and the immigrants he knows will take the blame. Only Delaney knows that Jack Jr. is the one to have spray painted the wall, and he deliberately hides the evidence of this from his neighbors. Throughout the novel, América and Cándido operate under the belief that Jack Jr. is actually Delaney’s son.
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Jack Jr. Character Timeline in The Tortilla Curtain

The timeline below shows where the character Jack Jr. appears in The Tortilla Curtain. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 3
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 4
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
Belonging and the American Dream Theme Icon
...described in terms that make it clear to the reader that one of them is Jack Jr. ) Cándido watches as the boys trash his and América’s camp and destroy their clothes.... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6
The Natural World Theme Icon
Belonging and the American Dream Theme Icon
...his injuries, Cándido manages to move the camp upstream, hoping to avoid further attacks by Jack Jr. and his accomplice. Cándido moves his and América’s belongings half a mile away, to a... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 7
Anger, Hatred, and Bigotry Theme Icon
...overwhelmed by Jack’s ferocity and struggles to organize his thoughts but before he can respond Jack Jr. appears and he and his father move toward the cash registers, with Delaney following. (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 presumption... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 6
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 will... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 7
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.” The... (full context)