There seem to be two internal conflicts that Alida Slade is having to cope with as we are presented with her in this excellent story. The first is that she is struggling with the change in her identity. As she reflects, "It was a big drop from being the wife of Delphin Slade to being his widow. The death of her husband and the new resulting social identity that she is forced to live with leaves her feeling "unemployed" and even hoping that her daughter will start a relationship with an unsuitable man so that she could feel "needed."
Secondly, and much more importantly, Alida Slade struggles with her envy of her friend, Grace Ansley, and the way that she knows that her husband actually loved Grace. It is this envy that caused her to try and kill off Grace by suggesting a meeting in the Forum at night, which ironically actually resulted in Grace Ansley bearing her husband's child. It is this envy that she is finally able to give voice to during the course of this story.