Eric Larson, The Devil in the White City
Generically speaking, Eric Larson's book The Devil in the White City is a tale of architecture and a serial killer. The book reflects the society of the late 19th century, Chicago. In its own the work is a journey of the lives of the people of the great city and how they changed. It encompasses their hopes, their dreams and their treachery. In general where gender roles are concerned, it showcases how women, particularly those from the working class, shaped the city around them while sticking to their constricted roles.
The book revolves around two central characters i.e. the architect and the serial killer, however, it manages to not just account for their lives, but in doing so highlight great poverty, violence and depravity of the age and America as it were during that time. It follows through one social crisis after another throughout the vestiges of its pages.
It shows the social diversity along with individualistic diversity of the era.
In order to understand the role of women during that time, we must first understand the dynamics of the society itself. In conclusion to the works, Larson pens in Notes and Sources "The thing that entranced me about Chicago in the Gilded Age was the city's willingness to take on the impossible in the name of civic honor, a concept so removed from the modern psyche that two wise readers of early drafts of this book wondered why Chicago was so avid to win the world's fair in the first place" [p. 393].
The world of that age was a combination of great achievement and burning desire to be better than everything else. To achieve that dream men weren't the only one making the efforts. Women were also breaking out of...