The Devil in the White City

by Erik Larson

Start Free Trial

On Pages 153-155 of the novel Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, what historical reference is discussed word for word?

What does that Historical reference mean?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There are a number of historical references in these pages.  Looking only at p. 153, there are two or three important references.

First, there is the reference to Walt Disney.  His father was one of the men working on the creation of the “white city” and Larson implies that his experiences helped inspire Walt Disney’s visions of magical things.

Second, there is a reference to Lizzie Borden, the woman who was accused of the axe murder of her parents in Massachusetts.

Finally, along with the Borden reference is a reference to the idea of labor strife (Samuel Gompers is another important historical figure) and violence.  The Gilded Age was a time of many very violent strikes.  There had been massive strikes in 1877 and there would be more in 1893.  This was a time when great violence was used by and against strikers.


See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial