Bitter And Sweet Themes

924 Words 4 Pages
Hotel on the Corner of Biter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford, portrays the life of Americans, Japanese-Americans, and Chinese-Americans during internment in World War ll. Tension stood strong between the races for fear of terrorism and loyalty to the Japanese enemy. This novel portrays differences in viewpoints between Chaz Preston’s American point of view and Henry’s Chinese-American point of view. Chaz shows the young, naive American point of view in this novel. Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Chaz spent a good portion growing up in the center of the war. Chaz’s birth also brought him up in a powerful family full of prejudices and uncertainties about the opposite races around them. Chaz’s father, Charles Preston, stands as a very powerful …show more content…
Throughout the novel, Henry receives even more derogatory insults and prejudices over his new friendship with Keiko. Especially from Chaz. This friendship fuels Chaz’s fire of hatred towards him even more. Chaz constantly calls Henry “Jap-Lover” in reference to their friendship. When Henry took Kieko’s possessions to hide them and keep them safe from the soldiers, Chaz and his fellow buffoons attempted to destroy them out of shear spite. Henry was only trying to do the noble thing and take care of his friend’s items, while Chas just wanted to affirm his power over Henry once again. Over the course of the book, Henry progressively becomes more assertive towards Chaz. Finally, after all of Chaz’s shenanigans and beatings, he draws the line and sticks up for himself and for Keiko. ‘“Go home Chaz.” The anger in his voice surprised Henry. He felt the blood drain away from his fists where they clenched the broom handle until his knuckles turned pale” (Page 170). Henry was prepared to actually hit Chaz and his gang instead of just running away or talking smack. This turned into a crucial turning point in the novel because Henry overcame his fear of being a Chinese-American and decided that no longer would Chaz control him and who he associated with.
Chaz’s ignorance and insecurity was not was over-powered by Henry’s upbringing to do the right thing, no matter the cost. The viewpoint of the power-hungry, naïve American boy became overran by the well-developed, mature Chinese-American boy. “Henry wasn’t afraid of him anymore. Chaz looked the way he’d look for the rest of his life, Henry thought, bitter and defeated.” (Page

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