The story "Roman Fever", by Edith Wharton, is about two women and the relationship that they have established over a long period of friendship. These women, Mrs. Ansley and Mrs. Slade, have practically grown up with together and they think that they know pretty much everything about one another. But as the story progresses, they realize that there is more and more that they have not told each other. Edith Wharton uses different types of writing and situations with the characters in the story to add excitement to the story. She also uses setting and wording in a way that is very unique and gives the story and ironic sense to it. Many ironic themes in this story make it interesting, and tie major points of the story together. .
Edith Wharton does a good job of using irony to give "Roman Fever" an interesting twist. The very first instance of irony of this story is the title. Roman fever was a common illness in the old days in Rome. The way that people would catch this illness was by going out at night when it was cold and not being properly covered up. The reader does not realize the irony of the title until later on in the story when it gets explained to the reader. When Mrs. Ansley became pregnant with her daughter, Barbara, she wanted to keep it a secret from everyone, so she said that she had gotten sick that from going out at night. So everyone believed that she had Roman fever. As Mrs. Slade says, " You do [not] remember going to visit some ruins or other one evening, just after dark, and catching a bad chill? You were supposed to have gone to see the moon rise. People always said that expedition caused your illness"(1365). This statement is also rather ironic in itself because Mrs. Slade mentions how she believed that Mrs. Ansley's visit to the colosseum caused her to become sick. In Fact, her visit to the colosseum does cause Mrs. Ansley to get sick, but it was not from Roman fever; it was there that she met with Delphin, Mrs.