The Devil in the White City Questions and Answers

The Devil in the White City

Safety was a major problem in urban life in the 1890s. Technology, especially in the area of transportation, outpaced safety measures in many ways. Larson cites some specific examples early in his...

Latest answer posted September 4, 2019 11:15 pm UTC

5 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

The title of Erik Larson's novel The Devil in the White City certainly is an indicator of the dichotomy of the main personages of his novel. The protagonist is Daniel Burnham and the antagonist is...

Latest answer posted December 8, 2016 5:31 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

Literary analysis looks closely at aspects of a text such as setting, characters, and theme to understand what message an author is trying to convey. For example, if you looked at characters, you...

Latest answer posted January 9, 2019 2:50 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

A story, whether fiction or nonfiction, that combines an unidentified serial killer and a rare but massive concentration of people – in this case, a World’s Fair – pretty much builds its own...

Latest answer posted January 23, 2015 6:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

Larson's book Devil in the White City offers a contrast between the awe-inspiring White City of the Chicago World's Fair with the horror of H.H. Holmes's murder spree. While many of the fair's...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2017 4:18 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

Three challenges that faced Burnham as he created the Chicago World's Fair were his business partner's death, labor problems, and a very harsh Chicago winter. Burnham's business partner, John Root,...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2019 12:35 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

Two possible motives for the crimes committed by H. H. Holmes are profit and power, because he gained both by committing acts of fraud, torture, and murder. It's important to understand the motives...

Latest answer posted October 2, 2017 4:28 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

The important thing to remember about doing a book review is that it is different from a book report. You should be able to evaluate the author's source material and how he reaches his intended...

Latest answer posted August 24, 2017 3:11 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

Great Question--I know that when my students read this book, they get lost in the first third of the book which focuses on the design of Chicago for the fair because they are more interested in the...

Latest answer posted July 21, 2010 6:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

Another important reference in these pages is the reference to Hull House and to Jacob Riis. The 1890s were just before the real start of the Progressive Era and there were many elements of...

Latest answer posted December 2, 2012 6:42 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

Inventions are easily found in the text as well as the Internet, and they include Cracker Jacks,chocolate bars, pay toilets, zippers, beef bouillon, and of course the Ferris wheel. Probably the...

Latest answer posted August 2, 2010 12:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

In The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, the relationship between the opulence and grandeur of the World Fair and the poverty and degradation that surrounded it is that they are located in...

Latest answer posted January 2, 2020 1:51 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

The Panic of 1893 was a dire economic collapse. As Larson explains, it involved the collapse of the Erie Railroad, followed by the collapse of the Northern Pacific. Several bank failures followed,...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2019 3:28 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

What a wonderful essay prompt! I would suggest the theme of wealth amid corruption. Realize, though, saying that the story has a "similarity" between Gilded Age America and saying that the story...

Latest answer posted February 5, 2015 4:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

In 1889, France hosted the Exposition Universelle. Erik Larson says it was so impressive and large that visitors didn't believe anyone could outdo it. The Eifel Tower was the centerpiece of the...

Latest answer posted April 30, 2020 2:59 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

The major historical reference on this page is to the Pullman Strike of 1894. The strike was connected to the Panic of 1893. On this page, Larson refers to one of the major causes of the Pullman...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2012 6:49 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

Erik Larson’s nonfiction account of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition – a type of world’s fair – and the serial killer who haunted it, The Devil in the White City, provides considerable detail...

Latest answer posted March 4, 2015 5:19 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

As the time neared for the fair to open, foreign newspaper editors wondered about the disease potential from the sewage problems Chicago had long been experiencing. Bad water in 1885, for example,...

Latest answer posted May 1, 2020 9:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

Usually the most important event in a story is the climax. This is the turning point, where things change from the way they were before. The conflict is not resolved, but it reaches its height....

Latest answer posted July 28, 2011 12:30 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

In accordance with eNotes policy, Homework Help posts may contain one question. This answer addresses the first question posed. By concentrating on a crucial event in Chicago, Illinois (and US...

Latest answer posted July 16, 2019 5:34 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

In an answer to a previous question of yours, I mentioned the major strike that would take place in 1894 in the town of Pullman. That strike is the major historical reference on these pages. On...

Latest answer posted December 8, 2012 12:28 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

Larson focuses on Chicago, the second largest city in the United States at that time. He notes that Chicago was a transportation hub, with more than a 1,000 trains entering and leaving the city...

Latest answer posted April 30, 2020 12:32 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City illustrates the differences between rich and poor Chicagoans by showing the great disparity in living conditions for people with money compared to those without it, the...

Latest answer posted May 3, 2020 5:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

One theme that emerges from Devil in the White City is that people had not yet grasped the darker side of modern America. The Chicago World's Fair of 1893 marked the beginning of many aspects of...

Latest answer posted June 17, 2019 11:40 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City recounts the saga of creating the World's Fair in Chicago in the late 1800s. There were many obstacles to overcome in the creation of the Chicago World's Fair, many of...

Latest answer posted December 27, 2010 12:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

It’s difficult to imagine that a serial killer could be offended by his depiction in a book detailing the history of his crimes, but Herman Webster Mudgett, soon to be known as H.H. Holmes, would...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2015 9:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

Author Erik Larson’s comparison between Daniel Burnham and “Henry Holmes” runs through the entire book. This conceit presents some of the two men’s personality characteristics and goals as similar....

Latest answer posted November 30, 2018 4:51 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

There are many historical references in this part, but what stood out to me was the descriptions of the city. One mention of history on page 59 is the conditions of Chicago before the turn of the...

Latest answer posted November 28, 2012 6:23 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

At the end of his book (in the section "Notes and Sources"), Larson writes that he used several sources in writing his book. To find out more information about Burnham, he used the archives of the...

Latest answer posted May 6, 2018 5:25 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

Erik Larson spends a great deal of time in his book discussing the politics around building the Worlds Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, and the obstacles Daniel Burnham had to overcome to...

Latest answer posted February 26, 2016 4:04 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

There is mention of Upton Sinclair on 37 that seems particularly significant to me. This historical reference relates to the terrible sanitation and food preparation conditions in the city at the...

Latest answer posted November 27, 2012 4:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

Good question. A dynamic character is one who undergoes change throughout the story. Perhaps I just don't want to glorify a man who did such horrific things, but I'm going to have to say Daniel...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2010 1:40 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City is several things--and one of them is a tribute to the very thing you mention. The White City--arguably the grandest World's Fair ever created--is a creation envisioned...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2010 2:14 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

Larson, writing about the 1890s Chicago World's Fair, uses Daniel Burnham and Henry Holmes to symbolize the two directions in which technology would go in the twentieth century. Daniel Burnham, the...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2019 4:48 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

The depression or panic of 1893, a widespread economic collapse, began a few months before the opening of the Chicago's World Fair. This created worries for the fair planners, as they had counted...

Latest answer posted May 2, 2020 12:56 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

In this book, “Codman” is a man typically called Harry Codman. His given name was Henry Sergeant Codman. He worked for Frederick Law Olmstead as a landscape architect and the two men were very...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2013 1:59 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

Unfortunately you asked more than one question, so I edited out the rest. In Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City, there is a consistent clash of ideas between true geniuses in their...

Latest answer posted January 8, 2011 12:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

One thing that caught my attention on page 44 is the reference to the insane asylum. In those days, they did not really understand mental illness. Mudgett takes a job as a “keeper” at the...

Latest answer posted November 28, 2012 6:14 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

I don't know of many modern-day stories which parallel the gruesome behaviors of Holmes. On the other hand, there are plenty of modern-day stories which parallel Burnham. Think of anyone who has...

Latest answer posted August 2, 2010 1:18 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

I think the Fair can be seen as a "watershed" event in the sense that it presented a unique vision of what a future America would be like, and also in the sense that it was a unifying experience...

Latest answer posted February 26, 2016 4:39 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

Obviously the answer to this question will be different for each reader, and I am certain your teacher wants to hear what you think was the most effective event in the novel. For me, the most...

Latest answer posted August 31, 2013 11:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

The insight that Larson offers is that good and evil can reside side by side in the same place at the same time, as they did in Chicago at the time of the World's Fair. Human pride, as he...

Latest answer posted October 13, 2018 7:20 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

At the Chicago World's Fair, there were a number of technological innovations. Fairgoers could hear a symphony orchestra playing live in New York via long distance telephone. The first motion...

Latest answer posted April 30, 2020 9:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

This is a good question. Erik Larson's book The Devil in the White City is the story of the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. It traces the creation and building of the World's Fair as well as the...

Latest answer posted August 8, 2011 10:18 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil in the White City

In another to reference to the Chicago World's Fair (1893), a meeting between Fair planners is mentioned. A couple of things of significance to social history are revealed in this reference. One is...

Latest answer posted November 30, 2012 2:50 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

As noted in the other answer, the marvel of the electric lights that illuminated the Chicago World's Fair at night are described in some detail. We learn that electric lights "laced every building...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2018 3:41 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

There is definitely equality, but there are other issues at work here. It was a time of great excitment and hope for America. Chicago was also very excited about the World's Fair. Yes, people...

Latest answer posted December 19, 2012 7:41 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

On these pages of the book, Larson speaks about the fair's effect on the nation's culture, and these pages include several historical references. The author refers to Walt Disney's father, Elias,...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2017 1:27 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

Page 28 has a very detailed account of the social historical record of just how the city grew "dirtier, darker," dangerous. Larson gives vivid, detailed account of the air quality, a "miasma"...

Latest answer posted November 29, 2012 3:14 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Devil in the White City

The inventions were very diverse. Some of them were things we take for granted now. A lot of them were foods, such as pancake mix and chewing gum. Some were more practical, like the zipper. The...

Latest answer posted December 19, 2012 5:02 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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