How does Burnham from The Devil in the White City use the World's Fair to his advantage? Also, what details prove Burnham's goal for the fair is different from Holmes'?

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lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Daniel Burnham made his reputation as a visionary architect and planner mainly as a result of his success with the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Constructing the "White City" from what was essentially a swamp was a major undertaking, and one that had many, many problems along the way. When he achieved what he set out to do--make the Chicago World's Fair a rival to that in Paris four years previously--he established himself as one of the premier architects in the country. His goal was to make the exhibition one that had elements of various classical styles and was planned so that the different areas flowed well.

"Dr." Henry Holmes, real name Herman Mudgett, also had a meticulous plan that he brought into existence at the time of the Fair. His, however, was to design a "hotel" that was in reality a place where he could commit multiple murders without being caught. It is unknown how many people he actually killed. Devil in the White City deals mainly with the murders that Holmes/Mudgett was known to have committed.

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The Devil in the White City

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