A Tribute to the Iconic American #Motel – Member Feature Stories – Medium
here is no setting more evocative in American storytelling than the motel. It is transitory, interchangeable, rife with cultural connotations. It appears locked in an eternal time warp somewhere between 1949 and 1999. Its definitive literary archetype, the Bates Motel in Robert Bloch’s Psycho (later the iconic Hitchcock film), is shorthand for everything from shabbiness to deviance, provincialism, and murder.
The motel’s range as a narrative device is vast: it provided the small-town hot-sheet hideout in The Last Picture Show, where Jacy Farrow loses her virginity on the second try; the diversion where Thelma and Louise are robbed by a one night stand; and the trap where the sinister villain of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men exacts final revenge on imperfect hero Llewelyn Moss. The motel—smoky, neon, forlorn—can be anything you want.