Literary Analysis: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet as a Historical Fiction

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Literary Analysis: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet as a Historical Fiction
In Jamie Ford’s historical fiction Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, this split narrative focuses on two eras: 1942 and 1986. Within these era’s, Ford’s novel focuses on a Chinese boy, Henry Lee, and what it was like to grow up in the international district with prejudice everywhere, especially in his own family being a first generation American. His novel tells the story of Henry, as well as a Japanese girl by the name of Keiko. The novel tells the story of these two young friends and the hardships faced when the government sends Keiko and her family away to the Japanese internment camps in the Northwest in the 1940’s. His novel displays the effects
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In addition, Henry does not easily overcome the social mores of 1942; again something MacLeod says that “bad” historical fiction makes it seem easy to overcome the social mores of the era.
First of all, meeting MacLeod’s criteria for a “good” historical fiction”, Ford’s novel does not “make overt rebellion seem nearly painless and nearly always successful”. Ford displays this when Keiko is taken away Henry keeps some of her belongings safe under his dresser, as well as when Henry sneaks into two different Japanese internment camps searching for Keiko. Though this rebellion seems rewarded at first, as we continue reading we see how, by going to the internment camps and keeping Keiko’s belongings, Henry unknowingly starts a chain of events leading to one, giant consequence. Because Henry keeps Keiko’s belonging, and later writes her letters, his mother finds out and tells Henry’s father. Henry comes home one day and finds his parents at the kitchen table waiting for him with all of Keiko’s pictures spread all over the table. Because of this, Henry’s father gives him a choice: walk out the door and no longer be part of the family or stay and forget about Keiko. In the end Henry chooses to follow his heart and leaves his family (182-185). This forever affects the relationship between Henry and his father, even on his father’s deathbed.
Secondly, according to MacLeod’s standard, Ford’s novel is a “good” historical fiction by not

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