What is a good thesis statement for a literary analysis paper on the book The Devil in the White City?  

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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 might want to examine two very opposite character types in this book. Larson focuses on Daniel Burnham...

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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 might want to examine two very opposite character types in this book. Larson focuses on Daniel Burnham and his partner, John Root, as the book's two protagonists. Together they achieve Burnham's dream of a World Fair, using their pooled talents to make a positive contribution to the city of Chicago and to the human race. On the other hand, Larson also focuses on the sociopath Dr. Holmes, a serial killer who uses his talents and cunning to lure women into his vault to murder them. You might ask why Larson juxtaposes or puts together two such different sets of characters? Is he trying to make a comment about how the rapid changes science and modernity were bringing to Chicago were both good and bad at the same time?

One possible thesis might be along the lines of:

Larson uses the main characters in his book [name them] to show both the bright side and the dark side of change and progress in the United States in the late nineteenth century.

Whatever thesis you pick needs to be arguable (an opinion) and specific. It also needs to be supported with quotes from the book that prove your point.

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Great ways to analyze texts is to examine the themes, symbols, or ideologies presented in the writing.

For example, in EriK Larson's novel The Devil in the White City, one could examine technology, murder, need for power, or identity in the novel. Another way to examine the text is to analyze the one's desire to overcome the obstacle presented in the life of the protagonist. One last suggestion for analysis is the irony presented in the text.

Therefore, examples of thesis statements one could use for the novel would look like any of the following:

1. In Erik Larson's novel The Devil in the White City, the author shows the conflict which arises when one is in search for power.

2. In Erik Larson's novel The Devil in the White City, the author's use of irony plays into the the fact that regardless of one's ability to succeed, a person may not find true happiness.

3. In Erik Larson's novel The Devil in the White City, the author's use of suspense is meant to keep the reader engaged with both the characters and the storyline.

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