Hannibal Free Public Library
Devil in the White City
February 25, 2013
What is the essential difference between men
like Daniel Burnham and Henry H. Holmes? Are
they alike in any way?
What motives, in addition to "civic
The White City is repeatedly referred to as a
dream. What accounts for the dreamlike
quality of the
How did the Chicago World's Fair of 1893
At the end of the book, Larson suggests that
"Exactly what motivated Holmes may never
be known" [p. 395]. What possible
motives are exposed in The Devil in
the White City? Why is it important to
try to understand the motives of a person
What is the relationship between the opulence
and grandeur of the Fair and the poverty and
degradation that surrounded it? In what ways
does the Fair bring into focus the extreme
contrasts of the Gilded Age?
What narrative techniques does Larson use to
create suspense in the book? How does he end
sections and chapters of the book in a manner
that makes the reader anxious to find out
what happens next?
What does The Devil in the White City add
to our knowledge about Frederick Law Olmsted
and Daniel Burnham? What are their most
important aesthetic principles?
(Frederick Law Olmsted is responsible
for the design of
In what way is the entire Fair an example of
the power of human ingenuity, of the ability
to realize the dreams of imagination?
How was Holmes able to exert such power over
his victims? What weaknesses did he prey
upon? Why was he not caught earlier?
What is the total picture of late
from questions issued
by the publisher, from Amazon.com and from http://www.litlovers.com/reading-guides/13-fiction/258-devil-in-the-white-city-larson?start=1