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Lea L.


English 6-11 Literary Criticism

Dr.Francisca R. Reyes

Roman Fever By:Edith Wharton

Life of Author Edith Wharton was born on January 24, 1862.She was born to George Frederic Jones and Lucretia Stevens Rhinelander in New York City. She had two brothers, Frederic Rhinelander and Henry Edward. The saying "Keeping up with the Joneses" is said to refer to her father's family. She was also related to the Rensselaer family, the most prestigious of the old patroon families. She had a lifelong friendship with her Rhinelander niece, landscape architect Beatrix Farrand of Reef Point in Bar Harbor, Maine, and often traveled with Henry James in Europe. In 1885, at 23, she married Edward (Teddy) Robbins Wharton, who was 12 years older. From a wellestablished Philadelphia family, he was a sportsman and gentleman of the same social class and shared her love of travel. At that time his depression manifested as a more serious disorder, after which they lived almost exclusively at The Mount, their estate designed by Edith Wharton. In 1908 her husband's mental state was determined to be incurable. She divorced him in 1913. Around the same time, Edith was overcome with the harsh criticisms leveled by the naturalist writers. Later in 1908 she began an affair with Morton Fullerton, a journalist for The Times, in whom she found an intellectual partner In addition to novels, Wharton wrote at least 85 short stories. She was also a garden designer, interior designer, and taste-maker of her time. She wrote several design books, including her first published work, The Decoration of Houses of 1897, co-authored by Ogden Codman. Another is the generously illustrated Italian Villas and Their Gardens of 1904.She died of a stroke in 1937 at the domaine Le PavillonColombe, her 18thcentury house on Rue de Montmorency in Saint-Brice-sous-Fort.

RomanFever A Short Story by Edith Wharton (1862-1937) Settings The action takes place in the afternoon and evening on the terrace of a Roman restaurant with a view of the Forum, the Colosseum, and other sights. Although no scenes take place elsewhere, the narration refers to activities in Tarquinia, a small town about fifty miles northwest of Rome, and to events that took place years before in New York City. Characters Alida Slade: Middle-aged widow of Delphin Slade, a corporation lawyer. While she is dining in Rome with her old friend, Grace Ansley, the narrator reveals that she really despises Grace, who once was intimate with Delphin before he married Alida. Delphin Slade: Late husband of Alida. Grace Ansley: Middle-aged widow of well-to-do Horace Ansley. When Alida Slade reveals her long-simmering enmity for Grace, the latter counters with a shocking revelation. Horace Ansley: Late husband of Grace. Barbara Ansley: Vivacious daughter of Grace Ansley. Alida Slade resents her because of her obvious superiority to her own daughter. The last sentence in the story reveals that Barbara is really the daughter of Delphin. Jenny Slade: Daughter of Alida Slade. She is beautiful but lacks the charisma and charm of Barbara Ansley. Headwaiter: Supervising waiter at the terrace restaurant overlooking the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, and other ancient ruins. After receiving a gratuity from Alida Slade, he invites Alida and Grace to remain at the restaurant to enjoy the view. Son of Alida Slade: Child who "inherited his father's gifts," according to Alida, but died while still a boy. Harriet: Deceased great-aunt of Grace. According to a story handed down, Harriet and her sister loved the same man. To get rid of her sister, Harriet supposedly tricked her into exposing herself to Roman fever. She later died of the disease. Type of Work and Year of Publication Roman Fever" is a short story centering on the relationship of two women. The story has a surprise ending. It first appeared in Liberty magazine in 1934. Narration Wharton wrote the story in omniscient third-person point of view, enabling her to reveal the thoughts of the two main characters.

Plotting The opening scene in which their daughters, Barbara and Jenny, run off to meet young men triggers Mrs. Slades memories of her and Mrs. Ansleys romantic adventures in Rome twenty-five years before. Mrs. Slade recalls that Mrs. Ansley was more beautiful than Barbara Ansley is now. However, she notes to herself that Barbara is more vivacious; she has edge. How could this be? After all, Mrs. Slade thinks, Barbara is the offspring of nullities. . . museum specimens of old New York. Her observation introduces the secret rancor she feels toward her companion and foreshadows ever so obliquely the ironic ending. Moreover, the reference to New York enables the author to shift the scenein Mrs. Slades mindto Manhattan, where they were neighbors in an upscale neighborhood. In turn, the thoughts of Manhattan call up memories of the womens lives there and the deaths of their husbands, Delphin Slade and Horace Ansley. .......Mrs. Slade then recalls the effect of her husbands death on her social life. And so the story goes, with one thought or one line of dialogue linking the plot to the next developmentuntil Mrs. Slade reveals her knowledge of Mrs. Ansleys nighttime visit to the Colosseum twenty-five years before to rendezvous with Mrs. Slades fianc, a revelation that leads Mrs. Ansley to reveal her own secrets about that night.

.......Perhaps the one flaw in the plot is the contrived chance meeting of Alida Slade and Grace Ansley at the same restaurant of the same hotel in Rome. Climax .......The climax occurs when Mrs. Slade reveals what she knows about Mrs. Ansleys late-night excursion to the Colosseum twenty-five years before to rendezvous with Mrs. Slades fianc, Delphin. Some readers may regard the shocking denouement (conclusion) of the storyrevealing that Mrs. Ansleys daughter is the child of Mrs. Slades late husband. What was Roman Fever? Roman fever refers to a particularly deadly strain of malaria that affected Rome, Italy, throughout various epochs in history; an epidemic of Roman fever during the fifth century AD may 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, a belief that American authors Henry James and Edith Wharton employ in their stories "Daisy Miller" and "Roman Fever," respectively. Symbolic Meaning Roman Fever Symbolizes the passion that drives the plot .This passion manifests itself in the coliseum tryst between Grace Ansley and Delphin Slade and in Alida Slades long -suppressed enmity and jealousy of Graces daughter.

Four Questions and Answers: 1.) What does the artist say? The author of this story tries to say that the two women Grace Ansley and Alida Slade have a secret on each other. In which those secrets will reveals the truth, that Mrs. Grace Ansleys daughter Barbara is the child of Mrs. Alida Slades late husband, Delphin Slade.

2.) How does she say it? When Mrs. Alida Slade reveals her secret about the letter that she wrote, Mrs. Grace Ansley suddenly replied to Mrs. Slade that not only the letter from Delphin that I had for 25 years but also Barbara.Mrs. Grace Ansley used that conversation to tell the truth and to reveal also her secret about Barbara. 3.) How well does she say it? Mrs. Grace Ansley and Mrs. Alida Slade tell their thoughts unexpectedly and surprisingly .As they are childhood friends their relationship was filled with envy, betrayal, competition and they compare their lifelong battle for one man, Delphin. 4.) Is it worth saying? Yes, because theres nothing wrong in telling the truth. In the case of Mrs. Slade and Mrs. Ansley that was the good time to tell the truth in a long time ago.

Lea L. Motilla English 8-11 TF 10:00-11:30


In Thailand people do not normally say 'good morning', 'good afternoon', 'good evening' or 'good night'. They greet each other with the word Sawadee, and instead of shaking hands, they put their palms together in a prayer-like gesture and bow slightly. It is customary for the younger or lower in status to begin the greeting. When taking leave, the same word and procedure is repeated. This gesture is called a Wai. If you are greeted with a Wai you should reply with the same gesture, though it is not necessary to return a Wai to a child. Think of a Wai as you would a handshake. Initiate a Wai because of sincere pleasure at an introduction. You will not cause offence if you Waiinappropriately in Thailand, but you may create confusion. Don't return a Wai from waiting staff, drivers or other help. You might hope to strike a blow for equality, but will in fact cause embarrassment. A Wai to your teacher (any kind of teacher) is definately appropriate; any smiles you receive in return are of appreciation. The information here is to give foreign visitors to Thailand some insight into Thaiculture that is relevant to normal daily life. Armed with this knowledge you can avoid causing offence and impress Thai people with your Thainess. This will make your trip to Thailand that much more enjoyable and your interactions with Thai people much more satisfying. There is not really a Thai word for culture. If you ask Thai people to describe Thai culture they will most likely answer with descriptions of traditional Thai music,dance or theatre. Informality and general friendliness in relationships of all age, economic and socialgroups characterize the Thai culture and people. Thai people are tolerant of almost all kinds of behaviour and never expect foreigners to understand the intricacies of Thai social customs. But by following a few simple rules for conduct, and adopting a few Thai ways, you can quickly and easily gain respect from the people in Thailand. Bamboo Bridge over Rapids SeksanPrasertkul Some stories seem to be buried stubbornly in our memory. They usually come back to haunt us on nights of loneliness, at moments when we let our mind drift with the whisper of the sea or the sighs of the breeze. They return time and time again like whirling waters and form a sad melody of life, intruding faintly, regardless of place, whenever we are engrossed in the present. On the last day of September 1980, my eight friends and I were walking down a high ridge and, a little before noon, we reached the upper course of the KhaKhaeng stream. Monsoon rains had been falling for days on end and at times it poured down persistently, and at other times melting in a fine drizzle that lasted from dawn to dusk. Even when the rain stopped, the whole jungle was still as dim and damp as a deserted theatre. The smell of old leaves and soggy rotting logs had filled our nostrils along the way. Taking the ravine near the source of the KhwaeYai River as our starting point, we had walked for five full days in the rain, up and down steep mountain slopes. We were coming from the west, cutting across the common borders of UthaiThani, Tak and Kanchanaburi provinces in order to reach the jungles edge at a place called Sap FaPha. Another day and we would reach our destination, provided we could safely cross the KhaKhaeng rapids. It was the end of the rainy season, and the water was at its highest level. The stream- rough like a sea of boiling mud, had overflowed its banks and spread wide. All along its course we could see a scattering of half-submerged bushes, which swayed about like drowning men struggling wildly as they called out for help. Whole trees roots, trunks and all drifted down, and some got stuck on bushes which the current hadnt yet torn up.

On the opposite bank, a little beyond our route, a large monitor lizard had been swept onto a branch, to which it clung, bobbing up and down under the thrashing of the current; it was unable to climb up the bank and unable to let go, as it would be whisked away by the rapids. What a pathetic sight! It was a fully grown lizard which must have gone through a lot before being caught in the stream Before deciding to leave the mountains at the end of September 1980, Id spent more than five years of my life in the jungle. It hadnt been easy for someone who happened to be born and lived for nearly two decades in a village by the sea, and all the more so for someone who had always been conscious that his parents had hoped he would provide for the family once he had graduated from university. I was able to get rid of the first burden within a fairly short time: it took me no longer than two rainy seasons to feel at home in the jungle and mountains. But the second burden was different. During those five years, I shouldered it every step of the way, day and night, from high rocky ridges through to meandering brooks. I still vividly remember the day I had to leave. I had travelled to Bang Pakong, my birthplace, to bid farewell to my parents. Father was the only one at home that day. Mother had gone to a neighboring province to buy fruit shed sell at the market. As I sat waiting for her to return home, I thought about the days of my childhood, when we still lived together. The more I brooded, the more I felt she was an angel heaven had punished by making her the mother of someone like me.