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Analysis Of Larson, Erik. The Devil In The White City

716 words - 3 pages

The World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 was America's chance to eclipse the 1889 Exposition Universelle held in Paris that had wounded the pride of our nation. With the entire world watching, endless opportunities were available to engage the impossible. One man used the opportunity the World's Fair presented to build a city that could make America proud. Another used it's eminence to help him become one of the most feared serial-killers of the time. These two men, "their fates were linked by a single, magical event" (xi). They represent Chicago as a black and white city; a clash between good and evil.

The Exposition held in Paris a few years prior unveiled the Eiffel Tower, possibly the ...view middle of the document...

Throughout most of the book the main focus is on Burnham with his challenges and vision while the little bits that are provided about Holmes gives the feeling of an overlooked evil. Like the Fair, Holmes’ charming exterior kept many people from noticing his true nature. Even if something stood out as peculiar to a person, it wasn’t until much later that they realized the significance of his suspicious and well-hidden ways. But most people only saw what they wanted to see, just as Chicago hid its true nature with illusion of the White City.

"Chicago had set its table with the finest linen and crystal- not out of any respect for royalty but to show the world how fine a table it could set" (263). Chicago indeed lived up to the expectations set by the Paris Exposition and was considered "a dream city whose grandeur and beauty exceeded anything" (5). Some of its most notable accomplishments were the use of electricity and the Ferris Wheel. Just as people were not aware or Holmes’ actions, the majority of the American public and the world did not...

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