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Analysis of Three Stories

One of the most interesting aspects of Wharton's Roman Fever" is the way the last sentence works as a sort of twist in the entire plot of the story. "Mrs. Ansley was again silent. At length she took a step toward the door of the terrace, and turned back, facing her companion. 'I had Barbara,' she said, and began to move ahead of Mrs. Slade toward the stairway." The final sentence of the story reveals that Mrs. Slade has a valid reason for her feelings of competition with Mrs. Ansley though she only learns of it after years of ill-feeling. Throughout the story, there is a deep-felt animosity between the two women. The more outgoing Mrs. Slade is jealous of Mrs. Ansley's daughter and of Mrs. Ansley's past love for Mrs. Slade's husband. Prior to this last sentence, the story seems top be nothing more than the recounting of the memories of two middle-aged women visiting Rome, but in pulling the story together at the very end with such a simple statement, it proves to be a well-crafted game that Wharton has played on her audience. This aspect of the story is very enjoyable.

A Rose for Emily seems to be almost like the ghost stories one might read around the campfire as a child. The narrator is never really named, and could thereby be anyone familiar with Emily Grierson and the town of Jefferson; the entire thing has a very haunting and eerie appeal to it. It also works much like the Gothic horror stories of Edgar Allan Poe, but at the same time, there is an element of the relationship between the North and South during the Civil war, and racial relations at that time.

It is the end, however, and the revealing of Emily's secret, that is the most gruesome aspect of the story.

For a long while we just stood there, looking down at the profound and fleshless grin. The body had apparently once lain in the attitude of an embrace, but now the long sleep that outlasts l


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