Devil in the White City, Rhetorical Elements Paper

Devil in the White City: Summer Assignment The Devil in the White City written by Eric Larson is divided into two different stories. One of the Stories tells us about Daniel Burnham and his serious of struggles while trying to conduct and build the greatest fair in the history of the world. The other concurrent story is about another man named H. H Holmes. Holmes is the opposite from Burnham. The author uses diction in order to show us the difference between the two. Not only by the character’s literal actions but the way he expresses them on paper.

For example, when the chapter is focused on Burnham the writing style is formal opposed to colloquial. The author does this to show readers that Burnham is a more stable character. Formal writing is very set in stone, which means there aren’t very many sentences that can stick out and surprise you. Much like Burnham actions they don’t surprise you because you know exactly what he is working for. On the other when you are reading about Holmes, you have no idea what he is working for.

This is why Larson chose to have a more colloquial diction in those chapters. The form of diction relates to the characters. Formal represents predictable which describes Burnham and colloquial translates into mystery, which translates into Holmes. This makes readers excited to turn pages and find them selves on chapter about Holmes. Another way Eric Larson manipulates language in order to connect to readers is figurative language. Larson makes it so that the hotel that Holmes is in charge of is indeed a metaphor for himself.

The hotel is beautiful on the outside. On the inside it is corrupt with murder. This is metaphor for Holmes. Holmes is a well-put together, handsome young man on the surface. In reality we find out that he is mentally unstable and psychopathic. Having the author weave the metaphor within his writing allowed the book to be an eye opener for the real world and made the book much more enjoyable. I believe the more I read this book, the more I had to think about the manipulation of the language which made it hard to put it down.

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