Devil in the White City Essays

1847 Words May 22nd, 2005 8 Pages
Write an essay discussing the historical insights presented in Erik Larson's Devil in the White City, being sure to answer the following questions: In what ways does the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 represent the contrasts and conflicts of the Gilded Age? What is the Fair's lasting imprint on American society & culture, & what new trends does it signal for the twentieth century?

Although the Chicago World's fair of 1893 only lasted 6 months, I had an enormous impact on the city of Chicago, its people, and indeed the entire country. Up until that point in its history, the US had done nothing on the scale of the world's fair, and was regarded as a country of barbarians and cowboys by much of the world, especially Old Europe. The fair
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You also see a callous disregard for human life. But within all of this, Burnham was very progressive in his approach to his labor force. He realized that the higher the morale of his men, the faster and better they would build. You also see the introduction of the 8 hour workday, and near the end of the fair the carpenters received overtime pay and extra pay on holidays. The idea of overtime was revolutionary at the time. Within the Fair's construction you can better see the progressive labor movement that was sweeping the world at the time. The fair can be considered a turning point for American labor. The term gilded means something of little value that is covered by a precious metal, usually gold, to make it look more valuable. Mark Twain coined the term "Gilded Age". It is an appropriate analogy for a time when the very rich lived in the lap of luxary, and the very poor starved to death. It was a time when the middle class we have today didn't exist in the numbers that they do today. The Fair is an appropriate analogy, both physically and metaphorically to the guilded age. Physically, the fair was designed to look magificant and permanent, and like it had been there for ages. In reality, it was constructed of a material that looked like real stone, but was really just a plaster mix that wouldn't last very long. All of the landscaping was done very quickly, in only a few months. Many of the buildings were not structurally