I have to think about this book a bit….but off the top of my head I really didn’t like it. It seemed to me that the characters started off perhaps being ignorant, but they weren’t racist….by the end of the novel it seemed that all sides had turned so racist. There was little hope for anyone….not from page one and certainly not on the last page either….I kept waiting for someone…ANYONE to do the right thing….but it never happened. Yes, one can say that bit at the end….but I disagree….I think it was reflex and something that happened without thinking….it seemed that anytime a character took the time to think about their circumstances that it never ended positive. Only America seemed to think things out and look for the positive….but life certainly wore that poor lady down, didn’t? If Candido had time to think at the end, I believe he would not have reacted as he did…that’s right….I think he simply reacted to the situation…
Now having said all of that, where does it leave us? It seems to me that the nature of how the media portray these things really is part of the problem. Sure…just about every one can agree that children are born colour blind. They don’t see other races, they only see other humans….but think about how the media has portrayed immigrants in the last ten years. Is there any positive reported? How long does someone listen to negative reports day in and day out about abuse before they see only that? How long before someone that is judged day in and day out actually become what others automatically judge them to be? It was obvious that many of the characters in this novel didn’t start out as they did….others influenced their actions and ultimately changed their minds about how they perceived someone simply by the colour of their skin….
How long before you and I stop taking every thing we are told by the media at face value and actually step outside and talk to our neighbors? How long before we cross the street, not to avoid someone, but to actually help that person of a different colour? Just as others can change our perception of someone wrongly….we also have the power to change, not only our own, but also someone else’s perception….
Don’t let the negative be the guiding force in your life….
Until next time…
Buy it now The Tortilla Curtain by TC Boyle