Interpretation

Tortilla Flat

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Before reading the roman „The Tortilla Curtain“ by Tom Coraghessan Boyle I thought, that it is a roman about Mexican people and their habits. But after i had read the short summary on the backside of this book i knew that it isn‛t only about Mexican people. It seemed to be about a conflict between rich people (While Delaney and Kyra Mossbacher) and poor migrants (Cándido and América Rincón). But there was also an information that this roman is one of the most important social novels which came out of the USA in the last twenty…

Tortilla Flat


The story is set in Monterey California with the protagonist Danny and his friends. Danny is a man without any worries and possession. He enjoys his freedom and sweet gallons of wine. He often gets drunk and when the World War breaks, he and his friends sign into the military force.

After the end of the World War Danny gets back to Monterey and he carries on his old careless life till his grandfather, a well known man in Tortilla Flat with great possession passes away and Danny inherits two houses. Danny is in shock about the coming responsibility of owning something, so he forgets about the heritage until he meets his old friend Pilon.

In order to have a roof above them Danny rents the small house to Pilon and keeps the big one himself. In order to be able to pay Danny the rent Pilon rents the, house except for his own bed to Pablo, but they both are not able to pay. Danny does not expect them anyway.

Because of the anxiety to pay the rent, Pilon and Pablo’s relationship to Danny become cold. One day Pilon meets Jesus Maria Corcoran on a road way an old friend, who is a humanitarian. Pilon finds out that Jesus Maria possesses three dollars, so he invites Jesus Maria to live with him and Pablo under the condition that he gives the two dollar to Danny.

Jesus Maria agrees to offer it, but instead to give Danny the money, they buy two gallons of sweet wine. In the same evening, while the three men are asleep, a fire breaks out and the house burns down. Not knowing how to apologize, the three men steal many thing to compensate Danny.

At first Danny is very angry, but then he forgives them. In the center of Tortilla Flat Pilon catches a sight of Pirate. Pirate is called so, because of his beard and he is described as a man whose mind did not grow up with his body. Pirate is a pitch wood seller and he has always his five dogs with him, which are his followers and protectors.

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At Danny’s house Pilon pursues Pirate every night to find out where his treasure is, but he fails ever night, till the day when Pirate asks Danny to guard the money for him, as the matter of that Pilon has to give up the money he wanted. Big Joe Portagee is a man, who does bad things without meaning any harm.

Out of jail Big Joe tries to find Danny and his friends. When he finds Danny and friend he lives with them. Together the five men master many adventures and quests, until Danny, whose life will is to live in freedom and carelessness, gets bored from the routine and monotone life.

Danny, with his worries and unhappiness goes mad and runs away from the house and responsibilities. Mad Danny plays everywhere pranks and steals from every one. His friend, who worries deadly about him tries to track Danny down and help him, but with no success. Weeks go by when Danny finally comes home, but when he is home he is deadly unhappy.

The worried friends of Danny try to cure him with a big party and every one does his part to prepare the party. The party becomes a great success and Danny drinks three gallons of wine. Drunken Danny picks a fight with “the entire world”, but no one takes challenge.


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