The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City Part 3, Chapter 12 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Holmes, Minnie, and Anna attend the July 4th festivities at Jackson Park. In the midst of a huge crowd, they watch as night falls, the band plays music that reduces people to tears, the electric lights go on, and the fireworks show begins. The crowd cheers.
Chicago’s patriotism is so great that huge crowds come to see the fireworks and sing American songs.
Themes
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Men and Women Theme Icon
Civic Pride and American Patriotism Theme Icon
Holmes makes Anna and Minnie an incredible offer, which Anna reports in a letter to her aunt in Texas. Holmes will travel with Anna and Minnie to Milwaukee, Maine, and New York, where Holmes says he wants Anna to study art and explore her talents. Afterwards, they will travel to Germany, London, and Paris. Anna tells her aunt that Holmes will provide for her, meaning that her aunt doesn’t have to worry about giving her money anymore.
Larson narrates the section from Anna’s perspective — by this point in the book, we’re aware that Holmes’s offer is too good to be true, and that he has no intention of taking Anna to Europe. It’s often difficult to remember why people kept believing Holmes, even as he amassed a bigger list of victims — by using Anna’s point of view, Larson conveys the trust Holmes can inspire in his victims.
Themes
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Men and Women Theme Icon
Anna is extremely excited by Holmes’s offer. Later on, a lawyer, William Capp, says that Anna had no inheritance, meaning that the offer of lavish travel was especially attractive to her.
This evidence provides another reason why Anna is inclined to believe Holmes to quickly — she wants to escape from her financial problems, much like the millions of tourists who come to the WF at this time.
Themes
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Men and Women Theme Icon
Holmes has told Anna that he will take her, without Minnie, to his hotel. Anna thinks that Holmes is a handsome man, with beautiful blue eyes, and knows that Minnie has chosen a good husband.
By this point, we know that Holmes’s blue eyes are one of the most fearsome things about him — they indicate that he’s uncaring and unfeeling. Yet for Anna and others, blue eyes are part of what make Holmes so attractive.
Themes
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