Analysis Of Erik Larson 's ' The Devil '

1250 Words Aug 23rd, 2016 5 Pages
Journal Entry #1 Erik Larson has organized The Devil in the White City chronologically, alternating between the construction of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and the evolution of a serial killer. In doing so, Larson is able to explore the details of the fair in-depth, while keeping the interest of the reader. By using this organizational structure, Larson is also able to tell the gruesome tale of a serial killer without scaring away his audience. Overall, the pairing of these two stories helps to balance out the novel.
Throughout parts I and II of the novel, Larson switches between the plotline of Burnham and the plotline of Holmes. The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair is introduced in chapter two. In this chapter we are also given more information about the mastermind behind the fair, Daniel H. Burnham. In the following chapter we are introduced to Dr. H. H. Holmes who, upon his arrival, was still going by his birth name, Herman Webster Mudgett. Quickly after arriving in Chicago, Holmes purchases a pharmacy from an elderly woman named Mrs. Holton so that she may tend to her ailing husband. The announcement of the World’s Fair and the purchase of the pharmacy both begin the long and interesting stories of two very different, but very influential men. Larson’s choice of organizational pattern is especially helpful after the particularly long chapters detailing the fair. For example, in the chapter entitled “Becomingness” Larson goes into detail about how Burnham’s…
Open Document