How is Roman Fever still relevant to contemporary readers?

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literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Edith Wharton's short story Roman Fever is just as relevant to contemporary readers as it was when it was first published in 1934. A reader does not have to look far past the main themes depicted in the novel to see that it can still speak to readers almost eighty years after its publishing.

The main themes of the story are friendship, rivalry, love, and passion. Given that the story possesses all of the characteristics of a romance novel, many readers may find it to be a fresh view on childhood relationships which have bee able to be maintained into adulthood.

What might engage readers the most is the way that Mrs. Slade and Mrs. Ansley begin to fight after initial reminiscing. For some readers, especially female readers, the story can show how (at no matter what age), some women still remain spiteful and full of vengeance. Therefore, the story could have a wonderful impact on young(er) female readers.