The Tortilla Curtain


T. Coraghessan Boyle

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The Tortilla Curtain: Epigraph Summary & Analysis

“They ain’t human. A human being wouldn’t live like they do. A human being couldn’t stand it to be so dirty and miserable.”
The novel opens with this quotation from Chapter 18 of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. In the novel, the words are spoken about “Okies,” or people from Oklahoma. The quotation speaks to the powerful way in which Delaney Mossbacher’s resentment of Cándido Rincón will cause him to dehumanize Mexicans as an entire group.
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