By Edith Wharton
► “a twist of crimson silk”
► Mrs. Ansley’s movement ahead of Mrs.
Slade at the end of the story.
Make a character chart for the two
women. Describe what they look
like and how they act. Focus on
their personalities and behaviors.
How does their conversation
develop their characters and their
Mrs. Slade Mrs. Ansley
► You have two minutes to discuss the
► You must address only the question set in
front of you during the two minutes.
► Both of you must have an equal chance to
► You should reference passages from the
text to support your views.
► You may consult your packet.
meanings of “fever.”
What are the literal and
figurative meanings of
“Roman Fever”? Use
examples from the text to
support your thoughts.
How does Wharton use space,
interior and exterior, to
communicate both theme and
something important about her
Using what you know about setting,
explain how the setting affects
the readers’ interpretation of the
► How are the women alike?
► How are the women different?
► How do the women see each other
How does the conversation between
the two women develop their
characters and their relationship?
Where does the hatred between the
two women come from? What is its
source? What is the source of the
With which character do empathize
the MOST: Mrs. Ansley or Mrs.
Slade? Why? Try to convince others
by presenting evidence from the
text and arguing against others'
Describe how irony is used in this
story. Include examples from the
text in your explanation.
Which of the three types of irony is
most prevalent (verbal, dramatic,
situational)? Explain how Wharton
uses this irony, using examples
from the text.
Explain how Wharton plants clues
throughout the story to establish
the situation between Alida and
Grace. To what degree is the final
speech a surprise?
Consider the choices each character
makes as well as the choices made
for each character. Explain how the
choices change the course of the
Think about the short stories you’ve
read thus far. What pervading
theme links them together? How
are the women characters similar?
How do the pieces mirror or react
to society at the turn of the
On a half sheet of paper, write the following:
►3 ah ha! moments (3 things you learned)
►2 questions (that have not been answered)
►1 connection (self, text, world)
Who is at greatest fault in this story? Why?
Should Grace have answered the letter?
Should Delphin have gone to the coliseum?
What would you do in this situation?
Why would Wharton write this story near the
turn of the 20th century?
Why would these women choose to write
about controversial topics?
How do you suppose the men of the time
responded? The majority of the women?
► Why did Alida write the letter and not expect
Grace to respond?
► Why did Delphin and Grace both go to the
coliseum if they knew what might happen?
► Did Horace know that Grace was pregnant when
he married her? If so, what might we infer about
► Why would these women still pretend to be friends
after all these years?
► Is there any significance in that the two women
► What are some additional elements of
► Did Grace truly gain the upper hand in the end?
► What is the irony in Mrs. Ansley’s first name—
► Would this story work with two male characters?
► Why is jealousy such a strong emotion?
► Was there a lesson that the women learned?
Choose one of the four stories read thus far…
Pinpoint an occurrence of irony…
Sketch a comic that captures that ironic