Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet Analysis

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The central theme of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is that a lack of communication is harmful to a relationship. Throughout this hardly anticipated novel, relationships venture each other through the best and the worst, but primarily the worst. Considering the prejudice and racist struggle in 1942 Seattle, relationships weren’t the easiest thing to pursue; especially between a Japanese American and a Chinese American, or even in families themselves. Relationships struggled and were ultimately scarred due to the lack of communication between Henry and his father, Keiko and Henry, and Henry and his son Marty. Henry and his father lacked a healthy relationship, including the absence of communication, which eliminated much hope for a…show more content…
Ever since Keiko was deported to the internship camp, the opportunities to talk to each other decreased immensely. Since Keiko was very far away from Henry, Henry strived to keep in touch with her as much as possible. Unfortunately, it seemed to be just a one way effort. “’One letter- overland carriage, please,’ Henry requested, handing over the small envelope with the letter to Keiko he’d written the night before.’… ‘Another letter? This one carriage mail, you say? That’s going to get expensive…two cents this time.’ Henry counted out the change from his pocket as she stamped it. He didn’t know what to say, he’d done this routine dozens of times now. Long enough to know what was coming next, already seeing the disappointment in the young clerk’s eyes,” (242). Henry had sent Keiko many letters and hoped for the best each time he sent one, but was frequently greeted with disappointment when he left the post office empty handed. Eventually, he met someone else, somewhat moving on from Keiko due to the lack of communication; they gradually drifted…show more content…
“He and Marty hadn’t talked much since the funeral. Marty stayed busy as a chemistry major at Seattle University, which was good, it seemed to keep him out of trouble. But college also seemed to keep him out of Henry’s life, which had been acceptable while Ethel was alive, but now it made the hole in Henry’s life that much larger – like standing on one side of a canyon, yelling, and always waiting for the echo that never came,“ (9). Due to their lack of communication, their relationship is barely breathing, gasping for air even. Since they didn’t talk much from the beginning, they have awkward silence that seems to be screaming at Henry now. Now that Marty is inching his way back into Henry’s life, it’s awkward because it seems to them as uncomfortable to actually communicate, especially since Henry found traces of Keiko. This is an issue because Henry doesn’t know how to approach his son about his first love, regarding his recently passed wife and how that may make Marty

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