The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City

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The Devil in the White City Part 3, Chapter 22 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In the months following the end of the World’s Fair, the poor and unemployed increase in number. Photographs capture the sights of the Jackson Park, deserted and filthy, and fires destroy several of the buildings at the World’s Fair. Throughout the winter, union leaders organize strikes across America. President Cleveland enlists the military to go to Chicago to break up a national strike organized by Eugene Debs.
It’s a tragedy that the city of Chicago isn’t more grateful to the thousands of workers who made the WF possible. Instead of showering them with thanks, they’re sent back into the “Black City.” It’s proof of the power of the WF that riots and strikes break out so soon after it’s finished — the WF was one of the only things keeping Chicago in good economic shape, and its end is a crushing economic blow.
Themes
Modernity and Anonymity Theme Icon
At the strikes in Chicago, unions burn buildings in Jackson Park, including Hunt’s dome and the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building. Burnham is pleased at this end for the World’s Fair — it’s better, he writes, for the spectacle to end quickly and spectacularly than slowly.
Ironically, the unions’ burning of the buildings in Jackson Park doesn’t come as a shock to Burnham — on the contrary, he appreciates the bright and even beautiful sight of the fire, that the buildings of the Fair go up on a blaze of glory.
Themes
Civic Pride and American Patriotism Theme Icon
In early 1894, the newspapers publish information about the hundreds of missing persons who came to Chicago for the World’s Fair and never returned to their homes. Larson ends Part 3 by noting that Holmes would never have been caught had it not been for one persistent detective.
As the WF draws to a close, Holmes is still on the loose, though he’s left Chicago. Larson closes Part IV by noting that Holmes was only apprehended by one determined detective. It’s amazing — and frightening — that Holmes has come close to getting away with his various crimes
Themes
Modernity and Anonymity Theme Icon