Devil in the white city by Erik Larson

Essay by Meowmeow23High School, 10th grade October 2014

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Shakira Scott CBR1

Erik Larson is the author of four New York Times bestsellers. He was born in Brooklyn, NY. Later, graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied history, language, and culture. Larson received his masters in journalism from Colombia University. He has written articles for The Atlantic, Harper's, The New Yorker, and a contributing writer for Time Magazine.

Larson wrote this book to show that, throughout our finite existence, there will forever be a rivalry between the good and the bad. In this quote, " Beneath the gore and smoke and loam, this book is about the evanescence of life, and why some men choose to fill their brief allotment of time engaging the impossible, others in the manufacture of sorrow," he utilizes words like evanescence and sorrow to emphasize the darkness that taints the light.

The Devil in the White City is a narrative history; it presents history in a story format.

Larson uses literary terms such as diction, organization of text, and foreshadowing to emphasize the fleetingness of life and the competing forces that drive it.

The book starts off with the prologue introducing Daniel Burnham, one of the main characters, who is abroad the Olympic (sister ship to the Titanic, traveling the opposite way) in 1912. Burnham sent a message to Francis Millet, one of his closest allies during the creation of the fair, and found out Millet's ship had crashed .This brought forth a flash back to his younger days, in the 1890's, when the American race to outdo Paris's Exposition Universelle was advancing. The story goes back an fourth between two plots, one being the progression of Burnham's creation of the Chicago World Fair of 1893 , the other following H.H.Holmes , a serial killer, as he uses the...