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Dylan Wooldridge

on 28 February 2014

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Transcript of ROMAN FEVER

Pulitzer Prize winner as an American novelist, short story writer, and designer
Nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1927,1928, and 1930
Wharton is characterized for her use of dramatic irony and is particularly known for her ghost stories.
Edith Wharton
Literary Elements
The main conflict in "Roman Fever" is between Mrs. Slade and Mrs. Ansley over Delphin Slade. When the two women were young they were both in love with the same man, even though he was engaged to Mrs. Slade. The story flashes back to a winter the two women spent in Rome.
Mrs. Ansley was in love with Delphin Slade and Mrs. Slade thought she was going to try to steal him away from her. So she writes a fake letter to Mrs. Ansley from Delphin.
Mrs. Ansley, actually responded to the letter, writing to Delphin Slade, who arranged for the two of them to meet in the Collesium. Mrs. Slade did not know about this, and she accuses her of lying. The twist to the story is that Mrs. Ansley's daughter, Barbara, is actually Mr. Slade's daughter.
Mrs. Slade married Delphin Slade as planned, but Mrs. Ansley, who had a brief affair with him, had his daughter.
By Edith Wharton
Wharton's Motivation
Edith Wharton was originally married until her husband became ill with an incurable case of depression. She then divorced him and began an affair with another man. Roman Fever was wrote after this event and it is ironic that there is a similar storyline.
Karma can hit someone at anytime in the future for something they have done in the past. Wharton chose this theme because the story consists of Mrs. Slade writing a fake letter to Ms. Ansley from her engaged husband to meet him at the Colosseum. Not knowing 25 years later, Mrs. Slade finds out that Ms. Ansley went to the Colosseum, but then actually ended up finding Delphin and sleeping with him.
Delphin Slade
Mrs. Slade
Mrs. Ansley
This takes place in a terrace outside of a restaurant in Rome. There are also other flashbacks of the Colosseum, which is where single people would meet. This story took place in the 1930s, but had flashbacks 25 years before.
Narration Style
Wharton has a distinct view on each character. He made Mrs. Slade a fake character because she was "friends" with Ms. Ansley for 25 years after she wrote the fake letter. Ms. Ansley is viewed as a more sweet, nice, emotional, and reserved character. After taking in the story from Mrs. Slade, Ms Ansley burst into tears. Barbara Ansley is a represented as a confident teen that is disliked by Mrs. Slade because she is better than her own daughter. Delphin is represented as the trophy, because both of the ladies were after him and still emotional about him.
Wharton wrote this story in omniscient third-person point of view
She was able to express the thoughts of the two women by writing in this way
1. Why do you think Edith Wharton titled her story "Roman Fever"?
2. Do you think that Wharton wrote this story from her affair or was it just because of her interest in love stories?
3. Who do you think was truly the bad person in this situation? And why?
4. Do you think Rome played an important part in this story? Why?
5. Do you think Mrs. Slade, Mrs. Hansley, and Mr. Slide were behaving properly for that time period?
6. Do you feel that society then is similar to society now?
Roman Fever
Deadly strain of malaria that affected parts of Italy
The myth around the disease was that it was present at night
Caused fevers
Known in Italy as Mala aria meaning "bad air"
Edith Wharton's Home
Guess how much she paid for the main house back then?
Main house: $57,619

Stable: $20,354

Lodge: $5,356

Landscaping: $50,000+
Full transcript