The Devil in the White City

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by whitecity
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The Devil in the White City

Connection:A connection to history could include the Great Depression because the fair was scrapped because the committee couldn't afford to keep the structures standing. However most buildings were destroyed or used by squators before this could take effect. The fair also encouraged jobs and a general feeling of happiness for the guests during such a depressing time while the directors of the fair took the brunt of the financial impact. Also, many historical figures appear in the book, including Thomas Edison, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Susan B. Anthony, Helen Keller, Mark Twain and Elias Disney.

Theme 1: Misfortune is inevitableMisfortune is shown throughout the book. Burnham has many misfortunes especially since the fair begins and ends with a death. Also, the fair was littered with flaws like flammability and structural errors.Holmes's side of the story shows the misfortune of others when he decides to kill them for no reason.

The Devil in the White CityBy: Erik Larson

"I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing."

Works CitedLarson, Erik. The Devil in the White City. New York, NY: Crown Publishers, 2003. Print.

"You must not think hurry of my life will last forever, I shall stop after the World's Fair. I have made up my mind to this. To be done with this flurry is my strongest wish."

1890Chicago chosen as the site of the fair

1891Land for murder hotel is bought and construction starts

1891Burnham named director of the fair

1892Opening Day

1891First murder

1891Hotel construction begins

18931st Ferris Wheel constructed at fair and completed

1895Holmes is investigated and eventually is executed

Theme 2: Overestimation and underestimation of abilitiesThe construction of the fair displayed the overestimation on Burnham's part because there was an unreasonable deadline and he expects the workers to complete more than possible. He underestimates the scale of the fair. People underestimate Holmes' ability to do harm and overestimates his intentions due to his seemingly kind personality.

"He could look at himself in a mirror and tell himself that he was one of the most powerful and dangerous men in the world. He could feel that he was a god in disguise."

"The wind, seems to have a grudge against the World's Fair grounds."

"You must not think this hurry of my life will last forever. I shall stop after the Worl'd Fair. I have made up my mind to this. (This exposition has become a) hurricane. To be done with this flurry is my strongest wish."


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