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The Devil in the White City | Study Guide

Erik Larson

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Course Hero. "The Devil in the White City Study Guide." Course Hero. 17 May 2017. Web. 25 May 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Devil-in-the-White-City/>.

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Course Hero. (2017, May 17). The Devil in the White City Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 25, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Devil-in-the-White-City/

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(Course Hero, 2017)



Course Hero. "The Devil in the White City Study Guide." May 17, 2017. Accessed May 25, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Devil-in-the-White-City/.


Course Hero, "The Devil in the White City Study Guide," May 17, 2017, accessed May 25, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Devil-in-the-White-City/.


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Erik Larson

Year Published






Perspective and Narrator

The Devil in the White City uses third-person, limited-perspective narration to tell a true story using fictional techniques, such as foreshadowing, descriptive narration, metaphor, and symbolism, and assigning observations and dialogue to characters based on transcripts from historical accounts. The author, who is also the narrator, points out that text in quotation marks comes from letters, memoirs, or other written documents.


The Devil in the White City is written in the past tense; at times, the author includes present-tense quotations from sources.

About the Title

The "devil" of the title refers to serial killer H.H. Holmes, who carries out evil deeds during the Chicago World's Fair. The White City is the name given to the fair because its beautiful structures are uniformly painted white. The murder and madness in the subtitle refer to Holmes's murders, juxtaposed against the magic conjured by the White City.


This study guide and infographic for Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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