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Word Count: 1,251
Edith Wharton according to Geoffrey Walton in his study of her in his 1971 essay cited her as having written her first story at age 11 and even at this young age she has been dealing with the interactions of people in her social group Her social circle being one primarily made up of an elite society which as she aged slowly died off became the focus of her stories However the problems that her characters experienced appeared to have been based more on their basic human natures when confined into their social obligation of being proper Because of this need to be proper especially in her women characters they seemed to wear a mask disguising their true intentions with small talk This very specific social and moral choice of disguising ones true feelings is illustrated in both Roman Fever and in The Other Two more in their sense of irony then in their social implications Roman Fever according to Lois Auchincloss in her criticism of the story as being a technical masterpiece A masterpiece because it shows Whartons ability to reduce a story to its bare bones without the aid of social problems or manners or mores or even of human nature except in its most elemental nature This would only add to the idea that Wharton could draw in a larger audience by removing the social barriers between them and only presenting a story where all the characters involved could be anyone in that situation It just so happened that the characters were normally from an upper crest of society hence the settings for her stories would more likely be in a richer atmosphere and not a more quintessentially lower class setting When looking into the text of the story itself we see these ideas come to life The two characters in Roman Fever are both widowed mothers of daughters Both women are well off as their husbands were
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