Roman Fever

Barbara Ansley Character Analysis

The daughter of Mrs. Ansley, also called “Babs.” Her effervescent personality and slightly irreverent behavior inspire envy in Mrs. Slade, who sees herself as being similarly socially gifted and wishes that her own daughter, Jenny, would display some of Barbara’s more interesting qualities. Mrs. Slade expresses at multiple points in the story that she does not understand how two such uninteresting people as Mrs. Ansley and her husband, Horace, could have produced such a dynamic child. At the end of the story, Mrs. Ansley reveals that Barbara is really the daughter of Delphin Slade.

Barbara Ansley Quotes in Roman Fever

The Roman Fever quotes below are all either spoken by Barbara Ansley or refer to Barbara Ansley . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Competition in Female Relationships Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of Roman Fever published in 1997.
Section 1 Quotes

As they leaned there a girlish voice echoed up gaily from the stairs leading to the court below. “Well, come along, then,” it cried, not to them but to an invisible companion, “and let’s leave the young things to their knitting … After all, we haven’t left our poor parents much else to do.”

Related Characters: Barbara Ansley (speaker), Alida Slade, Grace Ansley, Jenny Slade
Related Symbols: Knitting
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
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“Moonlight—moonlight! What a part it still plays. Do you suppose they’re as sentimental as we were?”
“I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t in the least know what they are,” said Mrs. Ansley. “And perhaps we didn’t know much more about each other.”

Related Characters: Grace Ansley (speaker), Barbara Ansley , Jenny Slade
Page Number: 5-6
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Section 2 Quotes

“I don’t know why you should be sorry for me … After all, I had everything; I had him for twenty-five years. And you had nothing but that one letter that he didn’t write.”
Mrs. Ansley was again silent. At length she turned toward the door of the terrace. She took a step, and turned back, facing her companion.
“I had Barbara,” she said, and began to move ahead of Mrs. Slade toward the stairway.

Related Characters: Alida Slade (speaker), Grace Ansley (speaker), Delphin Slade , Barbara Ansley
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Barbara Ansley Character Timeline in Roman Fever

The timeline below shows where the character Barbara Ansley appears in Roman Fever. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 1
Nostalgia Theme Icon
The Artifice of High Society Life Theme Icon
...stairs, Mrs. Slade and Mrs. Ansley hear the voices of their two daughters, Jenny and Barbara. Barbara, Mrs. Ansley’s daughter, jokingly refers to their mothers, saying to Jenny that they should... (full context)
Competition in Female Relationships Theme Icon
Knowledge and Denial Theme Icon
Nostalgia Theme Icon
The Artifice of High Society Life Theme Icon
...Slade and Mrs. Ansley discuss their daughters’ plans for the evening. Mrs. Ansley believes that Barbara and Jenny have gone out with two “young Italian aviators” who had invited them to... (full context)
Competition in Female Relationships Theme Icon
The Artifice of High Society Life Theme Icon
...woman. Mrs. Slade thinks that Mrs. Ansley was much more beautiful than her daughter, though Barbarais more charming and “effective” than her mother was. Mrs. Slade wonders how Barbara developed such... (full context)
Knowledge and Denial Theme Icon
...mothering.” Mrs. Slade thinks her life might be more interesting if Jenny were more like Barbara, vivacious and daring rather than responsible and safe. (full context)
Section 2
Competition in Female Relationships Theme Icon
Knowledge and Denial Theme Icon
It occurs to Mrs. Slade that Barbara must intend to win over one of the young aviators, who is a member of... (full context)
Competition in Female Relationships Theme Icon
The Artifice of High Society Life Theme Icon
Mrs. Slade tries to imagine the kind of life Mrs. Ansley will have if Barbara marries the Italian aviator: living in Rome among her grandchildren, surrounded by members of Roman... (full context)
Competition in Female Relationships Theme Icon
Knowledge and Denial Theme Icon
...the door of the terrace. Then, she turns back to face Mrs. Slade. “I had Barbara,” she tells her and then walks toward the stairway. (full context)