Devil in the White City - Essay Example

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The book (devil in the white city) is about two men namely Daniel Burnham and Henry Holmes and describes the American history of 1893; Daniel Burnham was an architect of the white city and Henry Holmes was a serial killer, this book talks about American history in the gilded age both the good and the worst moments.
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Devil in the White City
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Download file to see previous pages Larson tries to combine the story of the 1893 Columbia exposition with a tale of an urban serial killer; he contrasts the white city which was painted white all over with the Holmes world's fair hotel which was dark which portrays good and bad.
The gilded age refers to the period between1865-1901; this is the post civil war period and was characterized by economic, industrial and population expansion. This were the early days of industrial revolution where there was an expansion of infrastructure especially railway transport system.
In 1890's America was undergoing a shift from an agricultural to an industrial society, the fair was one of this progress. The construction of the 14 great buildings of the fair was a sign of unity and pride. The fair has attracted many visitors all over America and the world and it has an impact on culture and entertainment.
At this time Chicago become populated by people from neighboring towns, in 1890 to 1900 the population in America increased from 62 million to 76 million people, young women migrated into the city and were employed as typewriters, weaver and also as stenographers.
Many people in Chicago would die by being hit by trains and cars and there were many homicides, crime increased and the police were without manpower to manage it. Fires also would take lives in Chicago and also other diseases like cholera, diphtheria and influenza. In the first six months of 1892 Chicago experienced nearly eight hundred homicides. Urban dwellers were faced with significant changes such as corruption in local governments, filthy streets and poor sanitation even in wealthiest sections of the town

The fair:
The fair was a cultural centre in that it also included music performed by many marching bands. The fair also changed peoples reaction to technology, visitors realized that technology was not a force to be feared and this saw America on the path forward to modernity.
This story is based on the development of Chicago as an industrialized town where people migrated from other towns by train to the city to find jobs, this caused increased population in this town and also reveals the causes of deaths to people who came to the city and disappeared. Burnham was determined to make America's fair bigger than the one in France.
Larson Erik attempts to describe the American history in this novel, Holmes in his book resemble Herman Mudget who was a serial killer in Chicago. Mudget came to Chicago and worked for a pharmacist widow, when she died he took over the business and through his charming character he was able to convince young ladies and his consumers and was able to erect his own building which had secret path ways that he used to torture and kill his victims.
He built a world's fair hotel which was a horrific castle with dead ending hall ways, air tight rooms, giant kilns and acid vats; through his charming and uncanny ability he would tricked policemen and his creditors, Holmes convinced mothers to leave their children under his care, creditors to give him more time and friends to allow him take life insurance policies for them. Holmes was never detected until the close of the fair; he was executed in 1896 in Pennsylvania for killing his henchman and confessed killing 27 people.
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