Roman Fever and Other Stories
Egocentrism Inhibits Camaraderie in "Roman Fever" College
Throughout Edith Wharton’s “Roman Fever,” Mrs. Alida Slade experiences the consequences of an inflated ego as she fails to fully understand her companion, Mrs. Grace Ansley. She is consumed with egocentric priorities, like superiority, deception, and jealousy. While Slade’s egocentrism can be interpreted as purely superficial vanity, this story proves it to be a deterrent to true friendship in “Roman Fever” in its entirety, by making honesty, equality, and selflessness nonexistent qualities in her relationship with Ansley.
One core aspect of any friendship is a sense of equality and shared experience with the other individual. Despite the fact that they live parallel lives, Slade’s egocentrism pushes her to believe that she is in fact superior to Ansley. The two “…had been intimate since childhood…” and “…lived opposite each other – actually as well as figuratively- for years”. These two women have both known a privileged New York lifestyle, love and loss of a husband, and motherhood. Slade recognizes these similarities, but fails to attribute the likeness to equality. Instead, she constantly places herself on a high pedestal. She reflects that “she felt her unemployment [the death of her husband] more than poor Grace ever would...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 741 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4429 literature essays, 1449 sample college application essays, 183 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in