Betrayal and deceit play a big role in many relationships, especially in the love triangle between one man and two long-life friends in the short story “Roman Fever” by Edith Wharton. One woman desires the wealth and social status the man has to offer. While the other woman has uncovered an emotional and forbidden attraction to the man her “friend” is engaged to. A love letter reveals the secrets of illicit love and proves that subterfuge and machination between “long-life friends” never ends well. Alida Slade is a wealthy middle-aged woman in the story. She is a widow to Delphin Slade, a well-known man who was highly thought of in his community. While she was engaged to Delphin she grew a strong jealousy towards her friend Grace Ansley. In their youth society was different for them. They were in a secret rivalry for the engagement of the man Mr. Slade. Marriage was important to woman for it showed how their social status would end up like after finding the right man to marry. Marriage is "a socially recognized and approved union between individuals, who commit to one another with the expectation of a stable and lasting intimate relationship." A marriage usually involves some kind of contract, either written or specified by tradition, which outlines the partners’ rights and obligations to each other, to any children they may have, and to their relatives. Women in that time yearned for a companionship, faithful sexual partner, dependability, love and most of all a social approval for "settling down" and becoming a part of something larger than their self. If someone in a relationship cheats on their fiancé before they are married and they don't tell their partner about it, is it still alright for them to get married? That would be transgressing the rule of marriage and trust between the relationship. It is more deceitful when a close friend is involved in the secret rendezvous. This revelation is all but a backfire to Mrs. Slade’s plan...
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