What are the main differences and similarities between Ali Smith's Girl Meets Boy and Hotel World?

Quick answer:

One reason why Hotel World and Girl Meets Boy seem completely different might be because Hotel World centers on a ghost in an unspecified place while Girl Meets Boy focuses on two living sisters in a particular city in Scotland.

Expert Answers

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As the question notes, Hotel World and Girl Meets Boy each deploy postmodern devices. They present contrasting narratives and views. Yet Girl Meets Boy is grounded in a specific place—a city in Scotland—and in the perceptions of two living, breathing, connected people: the sisters Anthea and Midge. Conversely, Hotel World is not based in a particular geographical location. The action unfolds around a hotel in an unspecified place. The ambiguous setting might make Hotel World seem more elusive than Girl Meets Boy.

The immediate death of Sara could add to the dislocating feel of Hotel World. The first character the reader meets is, literally, a ghost. While Girl Meets Boy centers on tangible people, Hotel World is structured around an immaterial spirit. The spectral presence could lead some to say that Hotel World possesses an eerie and surreal quality that Girl Meets Boy lacks.

Additionally, the characters in Hotel World appear fragmented and separate. Penny, Else, and Lise, and the others mainly meet each other by chance. There’s no preexisting relationship; their connection is created by their link to the hotel. However, the founding relationship in Girl Meets Boy is not incidental. The overt familial ties in Girl Meets Boy might be another reason why it feels more stable and different from Hotel World.

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