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Analysis Of The Devil In The White City

Decent Essays
In the 1890s, the upcoming Columbian Exposition was all that the people of the United States talked about. Nicknamed World’s Fair, it was supposed to lead America through the 20th century and into the future. The fair was designed in the hopes of outshining the Paris Exposition and its main attraction the Eiffel Tower, yet no man was able to tell of the trials and tribulation at the fair and its architects would face in the years leading up to the exposition and in the aftermath of it. The Devil In The White City, written by Erik Larson, is a nonfiction text that goes in depth into the murder, magic, and madness that took place during the time of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Larson mainly focused on two extremely important people who he believed transformed the World’s Fair. Daniel Hudson Burnham, the leading architect, and director of the fair and the “Urban Serial Killer,” Dr. H. H. Holmes, previously known as Herman Webster Mudgett. Throughout the duration of the text, Larson constantly switches back and forth from the separate, yet intertwined stories of Burnham and Holmes. Larson explores Burnham’s role in the construction of the fair and Holmes’ path to corruption. Through the telling of the events that lead up to the fair and after it, Larson makes the argument that appearances can be deceiving and that the shell of beauty can hide danger and evil. While Holmes was the obvious devil/serial murderer and Burnham can be credited with building the White
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