Essay on Devil in the White City

1830 Words Feb 28th, 2014 8 Pages
Jordan Tisaranni
Humanities Summer Essay
Erik Larson states, “The juxtaposition of pride and unfathomed evil struck [him] as offering powerful insights into the nature of men and their ambitions.” This quote relates to the premise of his book The Devil in the White City, which tells two different stories based around a central theme of the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893. One tells of the adventures and horrors that came with being the important figures behind the production of something as great as the exposition. The story focuses mainly on the architects, and even closer on the man who became the official leader of it all, Daniel Burnham. Intricately woven into the tale of the building of the fair is a story that is powerfully more
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He doubled the amount of workers and had the usual eight-hour day extended. These actions were not well thought out and not safe. In April 1893, “four exposition workers lost their lives, two from fractured sculls, two electrocuted. The deaths brought the year’s total to seven.” Later, on July 10, “smoke began to rise from the cupola of the Cold Storage tower.” A fire had occurred in the same spot earlier due to a missing part in the construction of the building; however, there were no moves made to fix the building. Consequently, it went up in flames again and “in all, the blaze killed twelve firemen and three workers.”
Comparably, In Holmes’ final confession, he admitted to killing 27 people. However some of the people he admitted to killing turned out to be alive, so the accurate count of homicides committed my H. H. Holmes will never be known. Also, at the end of it all, with the exposition finally closed, there was still a very long missing persons’ list of people who had set out to the fair but disappeared somewhere amongst the festivities. Including the murders committed by the serial killer, the Chicago world’s fair caused many unnecessary deaths. Though the obvious answer is that the serial killer was the main contributor, one could say that the same amount of blood is on both Burnham and Holmes’s hands. Neither man managed to escape the “evils”

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