Brilliant writers possess the unique ability to turn simple words into a literary work of art. In Edith Wharton’s “Roman Fever” Wharton reveals her theme of “illicit passion” through the….
1. a) The setting of this story is in a small Mexican village. The sidewalks are cobblestone, the air is fresh and the sky is clear. From reading the story, I can tell that this village is very peaceful and desolate. Although the parish is bustling with secret eyes, the town itself is deserted and simple. b) The setting is appropriate for the story because it expresses the foreign nature of the town. In North America, this town is unheard of, and this makes the story intriguing.
The description of the town is almost as interesting as the story because it expresses a sense of freedom while the man is walking around, but the “garden of eyes” around him makes him look like he is being held captive. 2. a) The antagonist is attacking the protagonist because he wants blue eyes. The antagonist clearly sees a difference in the protagonist, and therefore jumps to the conclusion that he has blue eyes, and tries to attack him.
The antagonist uses a primal approach at attacking the protagonist, and uses a machete instead of any sort of culturally advanced weapon such as a gun. b) The protagonist acts very responsibly and doesn’t overreact to the attack. He tries to reason with the antagonist, and even trusts him to open his eyes, and get on his knees and submit to a power figure. 3. a) The protagonist is in this situation because he was stubborn and didn’t listen to the boardinghouse owner. The owner says “Hmm- everything’s closed. And no streetlights around here. You’d better stay put.
” The fact that the boardinghouse owner only had one eye also foreshadows that something bad is going to happen, seeing that the Mexican man wanted to take eyes in the end. 4. a) Two examples of descriptive detail are: “One could hear the breathing of the night, feminine, enormous. ” “I shrugged my shoulders, muttered “back soon” and plunged into the darkness. ” b) The descriptive detail in the story adds a design of what the scene looks like. This author wants you to see this village like he sees it, and leaves little room for imaginative interpretation.
5. Evidence from the text that describes two different ways in which the title is interpreted is an idea that the title is referring to the bouquet of blue eyes that the Mexican man wants to collect. “Blue Bouquet” is a direct quote from what the antagonist desires, and this can be seen as a clear title and interpretation for the story. Another way of interpreting the story is that the blue bouquet is a part of the quote “The night was a garden of eyes. ” A bouquet and a garden both regularly contain a similar item, and in this case, that item is eyes.
6. Two literary devices used in the story were foreshadowing and metaphors. Foreshadowing was used by the boardinghouse owner who only had one eye. This was a subtle foreshadow, but after reading the story thoroughly you can understand how the fact that he didn’t have an eye foretells the trouble the protagonist will be having later. The other literary device was metaphors. Metaphors were used quite often in the story, and an example of one in the text is, “The night was a garden of eyes. “
7. If I was in the same situation as the protagonist I would be terrified. I would not have the courage to turn around, and would probably get myself killed. I would either try to run away or try to convince the antagonist that my eyes were hazel and not blue. I would probably be crying, and if I made it out alive I would never walk alone again. I think it is completely ridiculous to walk alone at night in a foreign country, you are like a target waiting to be hit. 8. I believe this story makes Mexico out to be a very simple city.
Everything is very primitive and untamed. This is shown because the protagonist gets out of his “hammock” and onto the floor barefoot, while bugs are inside his room. It is too hot inside, so he needs to go out for fresh air, which shows the absence of modern day luxuries like air conditioning and central air. I realize that not all of Mexico is like this, but I believe simplistic cities like this one still does exist. It really shows an easier way of life, where you need to earn what you receive, and be responsible for your own well being.