Stars in The City

The novel The Devil in The White City written by Erik Larson is being turned into a movie that will be directed by Martin Scorsese. The notorious Leonardo DiCaprio will star in the film as the charming H.H Holmes.

Leonardo DiCaprio is an excellent choice for H.H Holmes. DiCaprio’s ability to embody any character he is playing is a critical virtue for this role. Larson describes Holmes with characteristics such as “He walked with confidence and dressed well, conjuring an impression of wealth and achievement…He had dark hair and striking blue eyes… ‘They are blue. Great murderers, like great men in other walks of activity, have blue eyes”(35).

Daniel Burnham is the architect that was in charge of building the World’s Fair along with John Root. Jude Law would be an excellent casting choice for Burnham.  The chemistry has to be right between Burnham and Root, and by choosing this actor, this can be easily achieved. As Larson states “Burnham was said to be the business genius of his firm, Root the artist”(53). 

John Root is side by side with Daniel Burnham. Larson describes Root as “‘His conversational powers were extraordinary,’ a friend said. ‘ There seemed to be no subject which he had not investigated and in which he was not profoundly learned.’ He had a sly sense of humor” (27). This would be perfectly portrayed by Tom Hardy. 

One of the important factors of any fair would be the Ferris Wheel. This was made possible by George Ferris. Ferris is described as “At one table sat a thirty-three-years-old engineer from Pittsburgh who ran a steel-inspection company that had branch offices in New York and Chicago and that already possessed the exposition contract to inspect the steel used in the fair’s buildings”(155). Finn Wittrock would be the most fitting piece for Ferris. 

Robert Downy Jr. should portray the part of pitezel, Holmes right-hand man. “‘Pitezel was his tool,’ a district attorney said, ‘his creature’” (70). 

Donald Sutherland would be the ideal fit for Frederick Law Olmsted. Previous films such as The Hunger Games could speak for Sutherland’s reputation for dedication to a character. Much like sutherland, Olmsted is described by larson to “  have a reputation for brilliance and tireless devotion to his work” (53).

The characters have strong personality traits to make them stick out in the novel. Each actor chosen has similar traits that make them stick out in the industry. These are crucial components when casting for a movie with characters that have depth to them.

Larson, Erik.The Devil in The White City. Vintage, 2004.


Stars in The City

The novel The Devil in The White City written by Erik Larson is being turned into a movie that will be directed by Martin Scorsese. In this film adaptation, Leonardo DiCaprio is cast as the notorious H.H. Holmes. This role seems to be ideal because of how Holmes is portrayed. Larson states “He walked with confidence and dressed well, conjuring an impression of wealth and achievement.”(p35). DiCaprio has pulled these types of roles off flawlessly before, an example is The Great Gatsby.

Daniel Burnham is the architect who is responsible for building the 1893 Chicago Worlds Fair. He is described by Larson to be born into a family who “devoted to Swedenborgian principles of obedience, self-subordination, and public service.”(p19). For Burnham, casting Daniel Radcliffe would be the ideal pick.

George Ferris is described to be a determined and creative person. He is the one who creates the Ferris Wheel. For this character I would cast Finn Wattrock.

Larson, Erik. The Devil in The White City. Vintage, 2004.

Seeking Redemption

In A Question of Freedom, Dwayne Betts was a sixteen year old college bound student. This all changed in a span of thirty minutes. Dwayne and a friend of his decided to target a sleeping man in a green Grand Prix, carjacking the man at gunpoint. For this crime, Dwayne spent nine years of his life in prison. As he grew up in prison, one of the biggest lessons he has learned is redemption.

Dwayne accepted the fact that no one else was responsible for his actions except him. One of the first steps in redemption is taking responsibilities for your actions. Most people want to blame the misbehavior of a child, especially a teenage boy, on the lack of a father figure. This was shown when Dwayne was in court. He knew that his actions had nothing to do with his lack of a father figure, as he told the judge, “Your honor, I have to apologize to the victim. What I did was wrong. I apologize to my family, to my mother. But I have to say, your Honor that I didn’t do it because i didn’t have a father in the house.” (p. 78).  

Another step towards redemption is religion, but religion did not help Dwayne achieve redemption. He did not come from a religious household, so he was taken aback when he found the other inmates diving into the Bible or Quran. He did did not see how you could go against the beliefs and morals that were instilled in a person when they are a child. If you want forgivness or redemption, the first thing you might do is pray.  He states “I admired them for that. But I couldn’t help but wonder what caused a young dude to do something that’s so against everything his family believed in, everything he believed in. “(p 124).

Dwayne Betts was not a neglected or troubled child. He simply made a mistake that cost him his freedom. The biggest lesson he could have learned was redemption and what it meant to forgive yourself. Redemption may be the hardest thing to accomplish one a vital mistake is made but it is not impossible and Dwayne proved that.


Betts, R. Dwayne. A Question of Freedom. Avery, 2009.

Choice Over Fate

Cass Harris was a ninth grade math teacher who was in her thirties, and happily married to Kip, until Cass discovers a secret that was tucked away in the dresser. Cass realized that fate had other plans for her. On her quest to Niagara Falls, she met Lois who became her suicidal sidekick. Together, the two set out to find the purpose of life. Cass relies too much on fate instead of taking charge of her own life.

Cass often returns to the idea that none of the things that happened to her were supposed to happen. As she explains to Lois, “…I think that if he wouldn’t have proposed, I would’ve gone with my parents, and yelled “Dad, look out for that beaver!” and my mother would still be alive and maybe we would’ve gone gone on to see Niagara Falls and met another man, the one I was meant to be with…”(1.2). Fate and destiny seem to have a big influence on Cass’s decision to leave. To her, it all made sense. But this wasn’t fate or destiny. She was uncomfortable with the secret her husband had kept from her, so she made the decisions to leave.

Cass loved to rely on fate or destiny to get her through life. In spite of this, Cass is the driving force behind every event that had occurred. She chose to stay home and plan her wedding, therefore she wasn’t in the wreck that affected her parents. In reality, life is a series of choices. These choices will lead you. Captain Mike picks up on her choosing to leave and run away from her problems. He says, “I think you just want to run away again.”(2.3) during a conversation with Cass, who changed her mind about leaving with the captain as soon as Kip found her. David Lindsay-Abaire makes the theme of free will obvious within Wonder of The World through multiple characters.


Work Cited

Lindsay-Abaire, David. Wonder of the World. Dramatists Play Service. 2003.

About Me

Hi! My name is Haley Breanne Black. I was born on October 10th, 1997. I am currently nineteen years old. I am from Gastonia, North Carolina which is about an hour from here. I have two older sisters, Mary, and Amber.I also have 3 nieces, Alyssa, Aria and Nevaeh, and two nephews, Matthew, and Zach. I am currently not sure what i am going to major in, but I am leaning toward health services.

I love to listen to music and I attend as many concerts as I can. Music festivals are probably my favorite type of concerts to go to.  I have gone to the Midtown Music Festival in Atlanta, which was my favorite concert. I have seen The 1975, 5 Seconds of Summer, Drake, Sam Smith, Panic! at the Disco, and Taylor Swift live.

I absolutely love anything and everything that has to do with all-star cheerleading. I previously cheered for five years. Two of those were spent with one of the most respected gyms in the industry, which is Cheer Athletics. While cheering, I have visited many states. From Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Chicago, I would like to say I’ve gotten off to a good start with my goal of traveling around the U.S. My dream is to make it to New York. Besides it being brutally cold, Chicago is definitely  my favorite so far.Traveling around the world is one of my biggest goals. I love seeing and exploring new places.