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Analysis Of The Devil In The White City

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This passage occurred after Dr. H. H. Holmes had to explain the whereabouts of Emeline Cigrand, a young woman he had proposed to. When fiercely question by Mrs. Lawrence, one of Holmes 's tenants and a friend of Emeline’s, he swiftly replies that she is gone to be married in secret and produces a cheaply printed leaflet announcing her engagement to Robert E. Phelps. Larson 's purpose in this passage is to display the poor level of security that people felt in Chicago at the time, the little faith they had in the police force as well as the impersonal feelings they had toward fellow Chicagoans. Larson uses the repetition of the words “no,” and “not,” when depicting the reaction from both his tenants and friends/family of Emeline’s after her sudden disappearance to connect the passage to one of the overall themes of The Devil in the White City- modernity and anonymity.…show more content…
This is evident when Mrs. Lawrence, a tenant of Holmes’s, claims that after questioning Holmes for a few days following Emeline’s sudden departure from Chicago, “she became convinced that Holmes had killed Emeline.” Yet, Larson explains- despite this belief that Holmes was a potential murderer- neither Mrs. Lawrence or her husband for that matter, “made no effort to move from the building nor did they go to the police”; in fact, no one living in Holmes’s building
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