Rhetorical Analysis Of The Devil In The White City

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DITWC Rhetorical Analysis Essay
The Devil in the White City, a novel by Erik Larson, references the Chicago World's fair. The Fair, known as The Columbian Exposition, takes place during a time of innovation: new inventions, new cultural experiences, new technological innovations, new social orders, and new murderers. Henry Gordon, H.S Campbell, Alexander Bond, and Alex E. Cook are all aliases for a man with the birth name of Herman Webster Mudgett. Mudgett, however, was most commonly known as Dr. H. H. Holmes: Chicago's World's Fair serial killer. Throughout the novel, Larson uses rhetorical strategies to depict Holmes and illustrate important events throughout his life.
Larson referred to Jack the Ripper in the first chapter of The Devil in
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In part 2 of the book, Ned Connor, his wife Julia, and their daughter Pearl are introduced. Holmes takes interest in Julia; who in turn, takes interest in him. Eventually, he asks to marry her on one condition. Julia was pregnant with Holmes baby, which he loathed. Holmes therefore asked to perform an abortion: reassuring Julia that she would awake unaware the process occurred. Holmes of course, enjoyed performing Julia's abortion. He “felt her pulse fade to nothing, like the rumble of a receding train” as he slowly ended her life (148). This simile adds irony by comparing the death of a mother and baby in a beautiful, calm way. Holmes claimed when he was done with Julia, “no one, including her family, could have recognized her” (149). One of Holmes's methods of disposing bodies was Charles Chappel, an articulator, who stripped human flesh off bones: creating skeletons for medical research(150). This creates a sense of empathy for a horrid and gruesome way of disposing a body. Another victim was Minnie R. Williams; fell in love with Holmes. Holmes was interested in Minnie solely because she possessed a great deal of money and property in Fort Worth, Texas. Holmes reasoned “Minnie was an asset now..like cocooned prey” reassuring his interest in her was strictly business (243). This is ironic because Minne was literal prey for Holmes, after he got what he wanted, he killed her: like a predator in the