Analysis Of Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet

1162 Words 5 Pages
Fiona Chen, Prelude English 10, Block 2-1
FLIP Journal entries, Term 1: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Entry 1: The Power of Jazz

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford mainly takes place in Seattle during World War II. Despite the international poverty, animosity, and discrimination during this time, there was one thing that seemed to connect many around the United States: jazz. It is considered to be one of the first forms of music originating from the “Land of the Free”: the United States of America. Jazz is a symbol of freedom and multiculturalism, as it is characterized by improvisation and is a mixture of African and European music. The novel demonstrates its power to connect individuals, no matter
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This is significant because we see the bonding of two individuals originating from diverse backgrounds based on their main interest, music. The union of individuals of varying origins through jazz becomes especially evident once Henry and Keiko, a second-generation Japanese-American girl and Henry’s only friend, sneak into the Black Elks Club, a jazz club, where the makeup of the crowd is nearly all African-Americans. Despite their initial feeling of being out of place, Keiko and Henry discover that, “standing out in the crowd were several Japanese couples, drinking and soaking in the music” (55). This reinforces the idea of the gathering of jazz lovers, not solely of African-Americans and Japanese-Americans. The Black Elks Club provides an escape for those affected by war and becomes a “place hidden from the troubles of the world” (55), where the difference in ethnicity does not mean anything, where it is the music that …show more content…
Keiko, being a second-generation Japanese-American, demonstrates this by announcing, “You are Chinese, aren’t you, Henry? (…) That’s fine. Be who you are, but I’m American”(60) During this period of suffering and inequality, no matter what they would encounter, the Japanese-Americans would remain calm and stay true to their identity, that is, as an American citizen. This is illustrated on multiple occasions; when the Japanese-Americans gather at the port to head to the camp and at the camp itself. They all remain regulated and board the ferry without protest despite the, “mobs of angry whites who stood behind barricades, shouting at the families walking by” (129). This quotation is crucial in showing their peaceful approach. The Japanese-Americans’ determination to show their love for the United States and their identity as Americans is undeterred by the gratuitous treatment they receive and is especially evident in Keiko’s father. He says, “[T]he only way we can prove we are American is to bleed for America’s cause—despite what’s being done to us. In fact, it’s even more important, in the face of what’s been done” (230). This is significant as it displays his wisdom and conviction,

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