Juxtaposition In Devil In The White City

“I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing” (Larson 109.) In the book, The Devil in the White City, Burnham, an architect, is having many different struggles in building the World’s Fair by opening day, but after the many struggles he ends up making the fair a dreamland. At the same time, Holmes, the first serial killer, is luring young women into his hotel and killing them without getting caught; however, when he does eventually get caught he considers himself with having the devil inside of him. In The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson effectively uses juxtaposition in characters, events, and setting to convey to his readers that when good is …show more content…
Larson describes the Black City as being “steeped in smoke and garbage...” (Larson 247.) However, he then describes the White City as clean, and that “visitors found clean public bathrooms, pure water, an ambulance service, electric streetlights, and a sewage-processing system…” (Larson 247.) This allows Larson to show his readers a contrast of the city 's appearance of the White city and the Dark City. The people of Chicago live in the Dark City that contained smoke, garbage, manure, and dead animals; therefore, when visitors walk into the White City they are amazed at the beauty that they have not fully realized was even possible. Larson further juxtaposes the setting with stating that “The White City had drawn men and protected them; the Black City now welcomed them back, on the eve of winter, with filth, starvation, and violence” (Larson 323.) This allows the readers to understand the contrasting effects the cities have towards each other. Knowing how safe and protected they were in the White City the people of Chicago did not want to back to the terror they felt back in the Black City. Larson also states that the White City welcomed people in; whereas, the Black City, because of how incredibly contaminated and poor the streets were, was unwelcoming. To further prove to his readers the contrast of the settings Larson states that the White City “...is Dreamland” (Larson 282.) This is clearly purposeful to show just how majestic the White City is; the White City is nothing the people have ever seen, so seeing this White City, people see it as a very vivid dream. Therefore, Larson uses juxtaposition between settings to show his readers that wherever there is light, dark is

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