AE – 20B Essay 2 Draft 1
November 25, 2014
An interesting book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, was written by Jamie Ford. Jamie Ford states a touching loving story in this novel. Henry, who is Marty’s father, recalls his childhood because of the Japanese stuff at the base of Panama Hotel, such as some old photos and an old album. In his childhood, there was a Japanese girl called Keiko, who saw herself as a truly American. They fell in love with each other. But because of the Pearl Harbor, Keiko’s family became one of many Japanese families who was taken back to Japan. This story is a mixture of old Henry’s story and child Henry’s story. After I read this novel, I strongly believe that it is not a good way for a person to abandon his native language in order to assimilate into a new culture much more effectively because of three big challenges.
First and foremost, the biggest challenge caused by neglecting native language is the limited communication to family. In the novel, when henry was a child, his father does not allow he speak Chinese, though he is a Chinese. Henry’s father can speak Chinglish a little bit and his mother cannot speak English at all. Henry’s parents always speak Cantonese at home. Like the author wrote, “Young Henry Lee stopped talking to his parents when he was twelve years old. Not because of some silly childhood tantrum, but because they asked him to.” (12) Henry cannot develop a good relationship with his parents because the limited communication. People cannot talk to each other in a