Roman Fever Questions and Answers
by Edith Wharton

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Compare the description of Slade and Ansley in "Roman Fever".How does the contrast between these two characters enhance the irony in the story? Edith Wharton's "Roman Fever"

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Edith Wharton's "Roman Fever" describes the interaction between Mrs. Slade and Mrs. Ansley as they sit on a Roman terrace. Their conversation is intermingled with the women's (especially Mrs. Slade's) thoughts and opinions about one another. The two women, who have been friends since they were young, have both lost their husbands, and both have daughters, are characterized as different from one another in a way that builds to a stunning conflict and conclusion at the end of the story.

Early on, the two characters are mostly distinguished by their differing demeanors: Mrs. Slade is more "energetic," and certainly more outspoken. She enjoys socializing and has a strong personality. Mrs. Ansley, on the other hand, is meeker, "old-fashioned," less sure of herself, and "exemplary." Her daughter, Barbara, is more vivacious, while Mrs. Slade's daughter, Jenny, is "perfect." Mrs. Slade and Mrs. Ansley reflect that they do not know one another very well, even after so many years of friendship....

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