The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City

The Ferris Wheel Symbol Analysis

The Ferris Wheel Symbol Icon
The Ferris Wheel is a monument to American ingenuity, bravery, and creativity. Designed by George Ferris to rival the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the wheel is cleverly built and highly elegant to look at — so elegant, in fact, that people are initially afraid to ride it, since the long, thin cables lining the inside of the wheel look flimsy. With the Ferris Wheel, America proves that its technological prowess rivals that of Europe in general and France in particular. At the same time, Chicago uses the Ferris Wheel to prove to its Eastern rival, New York City, that it’s a center of scientific innovation to be reckoned with.
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The Ferris Wheel Symbol Timeline in The Devil in the White City

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Ferris Wheel appears in The Devil in the White City. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 3, Chapter 1: Opening Day
Men and Women Theme Icon
Civic Pride and American Patriotism Theme Icon
...Park, everyone sees the progress that has been made in setting up the expositions. The Ferris Wheel is only half finished, but most of the other attractions are ready for tourists: cannibals,... (full context)
Ego and Cooperation Theme Icon
...partly because they lack the money, partly because they hear that it’s unfinished. The unfinished Ferris Wheel , which was meant to rival the Eiffel Tower, is especially disappointing to tourists. (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 4: Night is the Magician
Modernity and Anonymity Theme Icon
...is an awesome sight and well worth the money. Even so, the absence of the Ferris Wheel continues to limit the success and popularity of the World’s Fair. (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 6: One Good Turn
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It is June 1893, and the Ferris Wheel is nowhere near completion. The cars in which passengers will sit haven’t been hung yet,... (full context)
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Men and Women Theme Icon
Civic Pride and American Patriotism Theme Icon
While the Ferris Wheel ’s rotation is a major event at the World’s Fair, Chicago as a whole is... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 8: Vertigo
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By June 11, six cars have been hung on the Ferris Wheel . Ferris’s wife sits in the car for a ride, along with Luther Rice and... (full context)
Ego and Cooperation Theme Icon
The Ferris Wheel allows its passengers to enjoy a beautiful view of the landscape and the fair grounds.... (full context)
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On Sunday, June 18, 1893, the Ferris Wheel is open to riders, two days earlier than planned. Nevertheless Ferris’s board of directors urges... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 10: At Last
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Civic Pride and American Patriotism Theme Icon
It is June 21, 1893, and the Ferris Wheel is finally open to the public. George Ferris makes a speech in which he dedicates... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 11: Rising Wave
Modernity and Anonymity Theme Icon
Ego and Cooperation Theme Icon
...more tourists begin coming to the World’s Fair, attracted by the promise of the finished Ferris Wheel . This is impressive, since the recession is still strong and the trains have not... (full context)
Sanity and Insanity Theme Icon
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The Ferris Wheel sells huge numbers of tickets and makes a large profit. Newspapers write stories about people... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 15: Storm & Fire
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...hard to attract visitors to the World’s Fair. On July 9, visitors crowd into the Ferris Wheel and Midway’s hot air balloon to avoid the heat. In the afternoon, a storm arrives,... (full context)
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The Ferris Wheel passengers are terrified by the storm, and close the doors of their cars with great... (full context)
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Passengers in the Ferris Wheel and visitors eating lunch watch as oxygen rushes into the Cold Storage Tower and triggers... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 16: Love
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Men and Women Theme Icon
Civic Pride and American Patriotism Theme Icon
...in the group named Sara Osborne White, who doesn’t return his feelings. Dreiser rides the Ferris Wheel and attends Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. He tries to kiss Sara, but she tells... (full context)
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The Ferris Wheel becomes a popular destination for couples to propose to each other. Luther Rice allows weddings... (full context)
Epilogue, Chapter 1: The Fair
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...Columbus Day, and every carnival since the World’s Fair has included a Midway and a Ferris Wheel . Incandescent bulbs powered by alternating current, which were first displayed in large numbers at... (full context)
Epilogue, Chapter 2: Recessional
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Civic Pride and American Patriotism Theme Icon
The Ferris Wheel makes a great deal of money, but when it’s taken down in 1894, imitations spring... (full context)