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Summer Reading: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

By Jackdabomb Oct 28, 2010 951 Words
Allusion:
Henry didn’t mind sitting in the back of the bus. But for some reason Sheldon seemed to resent it. Grousing once in a while about how this was the Northwest and not the Deep South and the bus driver had had no business jerking his thumb toward the back of the bus when he and Henry boarded. Page 214 |Explanation:

Henry and Sheldon are heading out to meet Keiko at the new camp and are told to go to the back of the bus by the bus driver. Though Henry is fine with this Sheldon complains which is a reference to the Civil Rights Movement and the Bus Boycott. Just as Rosa Parks had complained about not being able to sit in the front (although she took action upon it) Sheldon did too. | | |Dialect: |Explanation: | |“M-ming bak?” Henry asked in perfect Cantonese. “I don’t |In this scene Henry’s father explains to Henry his intentions for| |understand.” |him to speak English coming out grammatically incorrect in a | |His father slapped his face. More of a light tap really, just |manner of speaking considered Chinglish which is a dialect of | |something to get his attention. “No more. Only speak you |English. | |American.” The words came out in Chinglish. Page 12 | | |Epiphany: |Explanation: | |His father pointed at the door. "If you walk out that door--if |Here, Henry, has been discovered harboring pictures of Keiko’s | |you walk out that door now, you are no longer part of this |family by his family. He gets into an argument with his father | |family. You are no longer Chinese. You are not part of us |and his father throws all the pictures out the window. Henry | |anymore. Not a part of me." |goes to get him and his father threatens him that he will | |Henry didn't even hesitate. He touched the doorknob, feeling the |basically be dead to him. Normally Henry would appease to his | |brass cold and hard in his hand. He looked back, speaking his |father because of fear or just plain inferiority but Henry has a | |best Cantonese. "I am what you made me, Father." He opened the |sudden realization (epiphany) that his place was not there but | |heavy door. "I....am an American." |with Keiko and so he left on that note. | |Page 185 | | | | | | | | | | | |Figure of Speech: |Explanation: | |“No more. Only speak you American.” |This figure of speech is used over and over again in the book | |Page 12 |which is to speak his American. Rather than saying speak English| | |he says American which gives it a new meaning that means to act | | |American and not to exemplify his Chinese roots and one could go | | |on to interpret that the figure of speech could mean to conform | | |to his father as he uses it everytime he would try to speak | | |Cantonese. | |Hyperbole: |Explanation: | |Pulling behind him a lifetime of memories. Page 96 |In this situation Henry is pulling a wagon full of pictures of | | |Keiko’s family. The figure of speech is a lifetime of memories | | |as pictures aren’t literally memories incarnate and the lifetime | | |part of it is the hyperbole as it isn’t literally an entire | | |lifetime of memories or even pictures for that matter. | |Imagery: |Explanation: | |There was a big wooden stadium in need of a fresh coat of paint |Mrs. Beatty and Henry are heading to Camp Harmony to serve food | |and what appeared to be a rodeo or livestock pavilion of some |to the inmates (in a matter of speaking) and then the author uses| |kind. Behind that was an open expanse with hundreds of chicken |imagery to describe the scene of what Henry is seeing out the car| |coops in neat little rows. The whole are was surrounded by a |window. This gives the reader an idea of what Camp Harmony looks| |barbed-wire fence. |like and sets a mood for the next chapter. | |Then he saw people walking in and out of those tiny buildings. | | |With dark hair and olive skin. And he noticed the towers near the| | |fence line. Even from a distance he could see the soldiers and | | |their machine below. Henry didn’t even need to see the sign | | |above the barbed-wire guard gate. This was Camp Harmony. Page | | |153 | | |Dramatic Irony: |Explanation: | |Ethel had taken Henry out on Green Lake, on a boat, beneath a |This is ironic because the reader knows that Ethel was going to | |sunny August sky, to tell him the bad news. “Oh I’m not leaving |die and that her passing didn’t bring the two of them together | |anytime soon,” she’d said. “But if anything, when I go, I hope my|but rather nearly drove them apart because of all the arguments. | |passing brings the two of you together.” | | |Page 40 | | |Metaphor: |Explanation: | |A broken record he thought. Two halves that will never play |In this situation Henry had finally found his Oscar Holden record| |again. |that he bought and Keiko stored many years ago. The metaphor is | |Page 178 |that Keiko and Henry are each one half of a whole record that | | |will never play (love) again. | |Symbol: |Explanation: | |It was 1942 and they were desperate for him to learn English. |The I am Chinese button is a plot device and symbol used over and| |Which only made Henry more confused when his father pinned a |over again in the book. The symbol represents Henry’s link to | |button to his school shirt that read, “I am Chinese.” |his Chinese culture which he slowly rebels against until | |Page 12 |eventually he renounces it stating, “I am an American,” throwing | | |his button in the trash. |

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