The Gilded Age By Erik Larson Essay examples

1137 Words Feb 19th, 2015 5 Pages
The Gilded Age, which took place during the final three decades of the nineteenth century, was one of the most dynamic, controversial, and unstable periods in American history. The industrial economy exploded, creating many opportunities for individuals to become wealthy, but it also left many lower-class farmers and workers struggling. Overall national wealth increased immensely, but this increase of wealth came with an increasing inequality between the rich and the poor. The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson, takes place right in the middle of the Gilded Age, in the years surrounding the construction of the 1893 Chicago World 's Fair. The beginning of the novel takes place in Chicago between the years 1890-1893. The end of the novel takes place in Philadelphia around 1895. The novel contains the two differing plotlines of Daniel Burnham and H.H. Holmes. Burnham is the architect who built the 1893 Chicago World 's Fair. Holmes is a serial killer who uses the fair to find his victims. In The Devil in the White City, Eric Larson uses the overlapping storylines to highlight the corruption that was lying beneath the magnificent surface of the fair. Larson draws on the underlying theme of corruption that plagued the United States during the Gilded Age.
Eric Larson uses the story of Daniel Burnham to show the commonly romanticized notion of the fair. Burnham’s story begins in 1890 when Chicago, against the odds, wins the bid for the 1893 World 's Fair. Burnham and his…

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