Current Study Guide


Faith Lutheran Church Book Club

2726 W. Market St. Fairlawn, Ohio  44333



Meetings in Choir Room at both 2 and 7:00 pm 


The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle


February 19, 2019


  • 1
    Environmentalism shows up many times throughout the novel. How does it fit in with the overarching theme of racism and the relationship between immigrants and white Americans?
  • 2
    Analyze the role of the coyote and its significance in the novel.
  • 3
    José Navidad's character is accepted by neither Americans nor Mexicans in the course of the story. Is this a result of his own actions, or are his actions a result of this lack of acceptance? Why?
  • 4
    When in conversation with his friends and neighbors, Delaney expresses that he is in direct opposition with the building of a gate and a wall around Arroyo Blanco for various reasons. However, when given the chance to act upon his opinions, he chooses not to. Explain why you think this is.
  • 5
    Discuss the novel's structure of alternating back and forth between the Rincóns and the Mossbachers. Does this add to the story's potency?
  • 6
    How does the concept of walls and boundaries play a role in the novel?
  • 7
    One criticism that frequently arises is that Boyle uses too much satire when describing the lives of the Mossbachers, making it seem as though he favors the lives of the immigrants in a novel where he is supposed to remain neutral. Is this the case? Why or Why not?
  • 8
    How do the Mossbachers' and the Rincóns' attitudes regarding luck differ? Do these differing attitudes factor into their differing lifestyles?
  • 9
    There is no doubt that both the Rincóns and the Mossbachers are striving for their own American dreams. Compare and contrast the dreams of each family and the obstacles that they must face in order to achieve them.
  • 10
    The fight between José Navidad and Delaney is a significant landmark in the steady rise of Delaney's racist tendencies. Why did this exposure of Delaney's true values occur? What events pushed him to that point?