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What insights does the book The Devil in the White City offer? What more recent stories...

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supermario1 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 24, 2010 at 6:13 AM via web

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What insights does the book The Devil in the White City offer? What more recent stories of pride,ambition&evil parallel those described in book.

Plese help me with this question. It is really important for me.

READ PAGE 393 OF THE BOOK it says : The juxtaposition of pride and unfathomed evil struck me as offering powerful insights into the nature of men and their ambitions.

This sentence might help a little.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 24, 2010 at 6:36 AM (Answer #1)

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This book is fascinating--and even more so because it's true.  The insights are varied, I think.  Here are a few:

What seems to be may not be.  So many people were fooled by Holmes; even those who were aware of his financial scams had no clue about the other evils lurking in his heart and mind.

When people come together for a common cause, they are able to accomplish amazing--even impossible--things.  The World's Fair happened.  Enough said.

One person's vision can be passed on to others; however, everyone is not a believer.  Vision is a rare gift, one which Burnham obviously had, but one which was ignored, mocked, and even fought by others.

People will take advantage of any opportunity for advancing their own causes.  The corruption we see in the process of creating this event is staggering.

Evil dwells in the hearts of men, and sometimes it is allowed free reign.  When it does, there is no measure for the depth of that evil and depravity.

There are two kinds of ambition--one is selfless, as it is an ambition for something bigger than self; one is selfish, as it is a grasping for fame or money or just wanting one's own way. 

In order to work toward a common goal, pride of self must diminish and pride in the creation (and even the process of creation) must increase.

Compromise on things that don't matter; never compromise on things that really matter.

(And one simple word of advice for all travelers, and especially women on their own--stay in touch regularly with someone!  Scary stuff!!)

 

Lori Steinbach

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