Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Imagery

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Imagery

Battle for life

Ethel’s “cancer in her bones had been downright crippling”. For the long “seven years”, Henry did everything he could to provide her with comfort and ease her suffering. He had “fed her, bathed her, helped her to the bathroom when she needed to go, and back again when she was all through”. He “took care of her night and day, 24/7”. Henry’s unwillingness to leave her side even for a minute was the main reason of his and Marty’s quarrels. Their son wanted to put his mother “in a home, but Henry would have none of it”. This imagery evokes a feeling of great sadness, for it is never an easy task to say goodbye to a dear person.

The bitter recollections

As Henry looked down at his sixth-grade yearbook, “he remembered everything he had hated and loved about school”. “Strange faces played in his thoughts, over and over, like an old newsreel”. He remembered “the unkind glances of school-yard enemies, a harsh contrast to the smiling innocence of their yearbook pictures”. Next to the big class photo “was a list of names – those not pictured”. Henry had no trouble to “find his name on the list”, for he was “indeed absent from rows and rows of smiling children”. The saddest thing was that “he had been there that day”, even more, he had been there “every day”. This imagery creates a feeling of absolute loneliness.

Saying goodbye

Sheldon was an old friend of Henry. The sax player was one of the reasons why Henry loved jazz so much. Unlike many other of their previous encounters, this one was not happy at all. “Looking at Sheldon, Henry sat on the edge of the bed”. His hand was “on his friend’s arm” while he was “watching his rattled breathing”. Sheldon’s body was “shutting down, laboring for each breath”. The old musician “looked hot and feverish”, for his body “was losing the ability to regulate his own temperature”. He was “burning himself up”. The imagery, which described a dying person, is rather sad and moving.

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