The Devil In The White City Analysis

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American journalist and author Erik Larson’s nonfiction novel The Devil In the White City establishes a theme of perception that is prevalent throughout the text. Larson’s use of this theme is intended for the reader to see that the way things are perceived by an audience is not necessarily the way they truly are; many times the characters in this novel will see something that the narrator will later prove inaccurate. He imposes a strong contrast between what is seen and what is there to convey the concept that things within this novel can have a completely different meaning than what they appear to, paralleling the theme of good vs. bad. The similar motifs that are portrayed within the text bring together one idea that the character’s perception of danger is skewed within the setting and timeframe of this novel. In the beginning of the The Devil In the White City, the description of the setting is introduced from the first page. The city of Chicago is known to be full of opportunity and success, especially in the time period that the novel is set in. Chicago, especially in this changing time, was not as safe …show more content…

This sharp contrast of the fair can be seen with the ferris wheel. “The wheel may not have been unsafe, but it looked unsafe” (pg. 280). They did not realize what the real dangers were, they merely saw the small pleasures of life as a threat. This author uses this method of juxtaposition in order to bring more proof that the reality of many situations in the novel are not always what is perceived. This quote establishes how the fair was well-known in a completely different notion than it should have been. The fair caused the attendee’s to become naive to the actions going on around them; the real danger was ignored, and the small things that made no negative impacts were the ones that had been focused

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