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The devil in the white city essay assignment



Read Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City. After reading the historical account, place his story in the appropriate historical context (what was going on in the time period in which the 1893 World’s Fair took place?) using information gathered from lecture, the textbook, and other primary and secondary documents. Then answer ONE of the following questions.1.) Richard Harding Davis called the World’s Columbian Exposition “the greatest event in the history of the country since the Civil War.” According to Erik Larson’s accounting in The Devil in the White City, is Davis’ statement accurate? While this question is open to reflect the views of the reader, it is important to contextualize your answer including an explanation of the significance of the Gilded Age and the City of Chicago. Additionally, what was the purpose of including the grisly story of H.H. Holmes (aka Herman Webster Mudgett)? Whether you agree or disagree with Davis that this was “the greatest event”, support your thesis with examples from Larson’s book. 2.) Historians have stated that the greatest battle after 1865 was the fight between labor and capital and that the City of Chicago was the caldron in which this battle took place. How does the City, and the account that Erik Larson provides in The Devil in the White City, illustrate the Gilded Age and this great battle between labor and capital? Where does race “fit” in this battle? How does Larson’s book illustrate the US in transition at the end of the 19th century? What was the purpose of including the grisly story of H.H. Holmes (aka Herman Webster Mudgett)? Whether you agree or disagree with the statement that this was the “greatest battle”, support your thesis with examples from Larson’s book.     The essay should be four to six pages in length. Follow the attached guidelines.    The main body of your paper should contain your evaluation, interpretation, and analysis of the book.    This essay is worth 20% (100 points) of your total course grade.    Rough drafts will be accepted at any time until a week before the due date.

Essay Guidelines1.  The essay should be four to six typed, double-spaced pages with one-inch margins all around.2.  The type font size should not be unusually large. Times New Roman 12-point is a good typical font size to use.3.  Please do not rely heavily on any outside sources for your paper — concentrate on the book — but if you do quote directly, or paraphrase substantially, from any book or article, you must indicate that fact with a proper citation. Plagiarism will not be tolerated!4.  Your essay should concentrate on the analysis of the book. Your presentation of facts is important, but papers are also evaluated on your use of interpretation, analysis, and drawing conclusions. This is not a research paper. (Note that a book’s title is italicized).5.  Keep your paragraphs reasonable in length; not one-sentence paragraphs nor one page ones. Each should have a minimum of three to five sentences.6.  Do not use contractions in formal papers; for example, “won’t,” “isn’t,” “didn’t.” You should spell out both words. Also, avoid using abbreviations.7.  Check and recheck your spelling and grammar before submitting your paper. Read it aloud to yourself and have someone else proofread it if possible. Be sure to spell both the author’s name and your instructor’s name correctly!8.  Direct quotations in your paper must always have quotation marks and must be credited with the proper citation. A quotation should not stand alone. Introduce each quote indicating where you derived the quotation. For example: Kipling wrote, “Fill full the mouth of famine, and bid the sickness cease.” However, do not overuse quotations. Remember that this is your paper; Kipling already wrote his.9.  Include a Works Cited/Consulted page at the end of your paper. Check a writer’s style manual (MLAHandbook or Turabian’s Manual for Writers) if you are unfamiliar with the format or check with me for information.10. Include page numbers on all but the cover page (should you include one) of your paper.11. You may use a title page if you so choose but you may begin page one with your name and course title in the top, right-hand corner. Then, simply begin

with the text. Submit it (upload it to Canvas) by the due date. You have plenty of time to prepare this essay, so late papers will be penalized. Remember that this essay is worth 20% of your total course grade


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