Tortilla Curtain: American Dream Short Summary

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Meanwhile, Kyra is on her way to pick up Jordan from a friend’s house, having taken the afternoon off in an effort to spend less time working and more time with her family. As she drives through the unfamiliar part of town, listening to her relaxation tapes and sheltered from the rain, she recognizes the area as the new, quickly expanding hotspot and vows to look into it for future business. She is lost and trying to find the house where Jordan is, but the more she drives around the more she falls in love with the rural, calming atmosphere of the area.

Soon, she passes a “For Sale By Owner” sign and decides to take a look, even if it means that she will be late to pick up her son. She is shocked to drive into a ten-acre property with a French-style mansion sitting in the middle. Her real estate acumen kicking in and thoughts of high commissions running through her mind, she knocks on the door and introduces herself to the owners. Back in Topanga Canyon, Delaney is tracking Candido’s footprints, an easy task for a man who has much experience tracking wildlife.

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As he follows the footprints, he is not surprised to find that they end up in the vicinity of the Arroyo Blanco, immediately assuming that he is responsible for all of the stolen goods and the vandalism. He then wonders if he might be responsible for the fire as well, if maybe the man in the backwards cap (whom Delaney internally describes with the racial slur “wetback”) is innocent. After all, he had hit Candido with his car near where the fire had started.

Delaney goes on to think that it would have been better for everyone involved if Candido had crawled into the bushes and died the day that he hit him. Jim Shirley pulls over and offers him a ride home, which Delaney turns down. As he watches the car drive into Arroyo Blanco, however, he notices that the wall has been vandalized once more with the same hieroglyphic-like symbols and that both trip-wire cameras have been triggered. Excited, he examines the film in the light of the guard booth to make sure that he has caught something and sees that he has.

Before going to the Cherrystones’ house to develop the film, Delaney decides to go home to get the gun that Jack Jardine had convinced him to buy several months ago. He had locked it away in his garage, too uncomfortable with it threatening presence to take it out until now. He also decides to eat, to take a warm shower, and to change his clothes. Luckily, Kyra had taken Jordan out for dinner, giving him the privacy to gear himself up for the adventure ahead. He then uses the Cherrystones’ spare key to enter their house, assuming that they would not mind his doing so, and develops the film.

Much to his surprise, however, it is not Candido’s face he captured but Jack Jr. and an accomplice. This photographic evidence still is not enough to stop Delaney from going after the Mexican – he is convinced that, even if he did not vandalize the walls, he must have stolen the missing items and probably even started the fire. He throws the photographs and the negatives away and takes off, creeping up the ledge where Candido and America are hiding, using the smell of their fire to guide him to their hut. Chapter eight opens with Candido returning to the hut.

At the site of his worn, thing body, America begins to cry, though she hides this from her husband. Candido tells America about Delaney’s crazy confrontation, thinking that he tried to hit him again on purpose before calling the police. He wonders how anybody can be so vicious, though America has no trouble believing it, thinking that Delaney sent Jack Jr. , whom she thought was Delaney’s son, to abuse them after the accident. After Candido had eaten and warmed himself, America tells him that Socorro really needs a doctor and that she thinks that their baby is blind.

When he hastily denies it, she finally admits to him that her pee burned after the attack by the man in the backwards cap and his friend, finally admits that they did more to her than she told him. It is at that moment that Delaney appears in the doorway, clutching the gun in his hand. Delaney only has a second to glimpse Candido, America, and Socorro before a flood of water swept away all four people, the hut, and everything inside of it. As everything came crashing down upon him, Candido curses his bad luck and his miserable life.

All he wants is to live a stable life, and yet he ends up with a blind child, a wife who has been raped, and a man with a gun after him. As the river carries him and his family away with an unstoppable force, he suddenly hits a building, which turns out to be the United States Post Office. He and America manage to make it onto the roof of the building, but a chill runs through him when he realizes that Socorro is gone. The pain consumes him beyond the point of comprehension, and yet, when he sees Delaney’s white hand grasping for help, he reaches out and takes hold of it.

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Tortilla Curtain: American Dream Short Summary. (2017, Jan 28). Retrieved from

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