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Roman Fever

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C Meyer

on 16 September 2015

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Transcript of Roman Fever


Roman fever refers to a particularly deadly strain of malaria that affected Rome, Italy throughout history.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease.
In The Cask of Amontillado, the reader knows that Montresor is planning on murdering Fortunato, while Fortunato believes they are friends.
In The Truman Show, the viewer is aware that Truman is on a television show, but Truman himself only gradually learns this.
In Romeo and Juliet, the other characters in the cast think Juliet is dead, but the audience knows she only took a sleeping potion.
In Forrest Gump, the audience knows the historical significance of the characters and scenarios Forrest Gump finds himself in, but he often does not.
Examples of Dramatic Irony
As a writer, Wharton was very prolific, constantly producing and publishing shorts stories, poems, novels, novellas, and essays.
Wharton won a Pulitzer Prize for her society novel The Age of Innocence in 1921, making her the first woman ever awarded one.
She was also the first woman to be given an honorary doctorate by Yale University.
Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was born into a tightly controlled society known as "Old New York" at a time when women were discouraged from achieving anything beyond a proper marriage.
Mrs. Ansley and Mrs. Slade have a bittersweet relationship filled with envy, betrayal, and competition. They compare their lifelong battle for one man, Delphin Slade, and now quarrel regarding who has the more impressive daughter.
Power struggles
The protagonists are Grace Ansley and Alida Slade, two middle-aged American women who are visiting Rome with their daughters, Barbara Ansley and Jenny Slade. The elder women grew up in Manhattan, New York, and were friends from childhood. A youthful romantic rivalry led Mrs. Slade to nurture feelings of jealousy and hatred against Mrs. Ansley.

Could women in the
19th century be "free?"

The letter was purportedly from Mrs. Slade's fiancé, Delphin, inviting Mrs. Ansley to a rendezvous at the Colosseum. In fact, Mrs. Slade herself had written the letter, in an attempt to get Mrs. Ansley out of the way of the engagement by disappointing her with Delphin's absence (and, it is implied, to get Mrs. Ansley sick with Roman Fever).
The two women compare their daughters and reflect on each other's lives. Eventually, Mrs. Slade reveals a secret about a letter written to Mrs. Ansley on a visit to Rome many years ago.

Edith Wharton
Roman Fever (the disease)
Baby Edith
Short Story by
Edith Wharton
How it all goes down...
Competition continues many years later...
The letter...
It is believed to have contributed to the fall of the Roman empire.
It was thought that Roman fever was contracted at night, and thus that it was dangerous to venture out.
Roman Fever presents us with a situation that is an example of dramatic irony.
This story presents us with a view of women.
"The Story of an Hour" and "The Yellow Wallpaper" gave us a distinct view of women in the 19th century (this is when both stories were written).
Keep this question in
mind while reading...
Pulitzer Prize
Full transcript