Rhetorical Analysis Of The Devil In The White City

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DWC Rhetorical Analysis Essay Tucker Max’s famous words state that “the devil doesn’t come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you’ve ever wished for.” H. H. Holmes, a main character in Erik Larson’s 2003 novel titled “The Devil in the White City,” exemplifies Max’s statement. This novel recreates the lives of Daniel Burnham, the architect of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and H. H. Holmes, the mastermind serial killer who takes advantage of the fair to find his victims. Larson demonstrates the contesting forces of good and evil within the World’s Fair among his use of figurative language, allusion, and imagery to emphasize that evil can lurk in the shadows as well as in plain sight. When acknowledging the turnout of Chicago’s fair, Larson uses figurative language to demonstrate the contesting forces of good and evil and to examine the extent to which Chicago stretched the fair’s potential. Larson writes, “Chicago has disappointed her enemies and astonished the world” (30). Larson uses personification when he says that “Chicago has disappointed her enemies…” and is giving Chicago a human behavior. This strategy emits a positive connotation to the reader . The use of figurative language makes the reader look at Chicago as having achieved a great honor by hosting the fair. It also shows that Chicago can create something so miraculous in a time of such hardship and need for ingenuity and amidst the evil waiting within the shadows of the White City. When describing the tension in the top floor of the Rookery while the architects were revealing their drawings for the fair, Larson writes “As the light began to fade, the architects lit the library’s gas jets, which hissed like mildly perturbed cats” (115) and he uses figurative language to help the reader grasp the importance and anticipation of this moment. By comparing the library’s gas jets to “mildly perturbed cats,” the reader gains a sense of agitation, anticipation, and the anxiety that the architects were feeling in that moment. Larson creates a negative and rather comforting connotation by using this simile to describe the room’s tension. The way that Larson describes this moment leads the reader to imagine it to be

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