Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Don't Do the Unthinkable, Just Do What's Right: Henry's Morality in Ford's Novel 9th Grade

Courage is not the absence of fear, but the will to overcome it. Jamie Ford’s novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet shows this characteristic as a central element of its narrative. Henry is a Chinese boy who is living during World War ll, a time of racial ignorance. His father is a traditional and stern Chinese man who is loyal to his homeland. Henry meets a Japanese girl,Keiko, who he creates an unbreakable bond with. Unfortunately, his father disapproves because of her ethnicity and she is moved to a relocation camp. But Henry won't quit until their flame is rekindled. Jamie Ford shows us that courage is not defined as saving the world, but doing what is right even in the face of adversity. Courage is demonstrated and celebrated in the novel when Henry hides Keiko’s family photographs for her, Henry’s mom secretly delivers Keiko’s letters to Henry, and Henry visits Keiko at the relocation camp.

Henry shows courage progressively throughout the book. One of the ways he shows courage is when he hides Keiko’s family photographs for her. Keiko asks Henry to keep her family photos so they would not have to burn them. She hopes to retrieve them after the war and Henry would not let her down. He takes the photos and hides...

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