Hotel World Symbols & Objects

Ali Smith
This Study Guide consists of approximately 51 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Hotel World.
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The Elevator Shaft

The elevator shaft, down which Sara falls in the dumb waiter, symbolizes the passage between life and death in the novel. At various points, all the novel's main characters will stand at its mouth on the fourth floor — Lise, Clare, Else, Duncan, Penny, and of course Sara. Only Sara will ever be mentioned as a visitor to the basement, after her fall, and the basement thus becomes a deathly space. A main concern of Sara's ghost, and of Clare, is measuring the time it would take to fall from the top of the shaft to the bottom. In this sense, the shaft is a measurement of a life as it passes, a way of trying to understand and measure the meaning of life once it has gone.

Though Penny is clueless as to what had taken place in the elevator shaft, she is nevertheless...

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This section contains 1,936 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Hotel World Study Guide
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