Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest



While some critics contend that The Importance of Being Earnest is
completely fanciful and has no relation to the real world, others maintain that
Oscar Wilde's "trivial comedy for serious people" does make significant comments
about social class and the institution of marriage. These observations include
the prevalent utilization of deceit in everyday affairs. Indeed the characters
and plot of the play appear to be entirely irreverent, thus lending weight to
the comedic, fanciful aspect. However, this same factor also serves to
illuminate the major points that Wilde tries to convey about the English society
in which he lived.
Throughout the course of the play, Wilde portrays each of ...

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visit to town, Ernest replies, "Oh pleasure,
pleasure! What else should bring anyone anywhere? Eating as usual, I see Algy!".
Algeron and Ernest are characterized by their extravagance, a luxury affordable
only because of the money accrued from family inheritance. Neither displays any
notion of an appreciation for money. In fact, when Algernon's butler hands him
bills that have just arrived in the mail, Algernon simply rips them up.
Wilde's conception of deceit as an accepted custom in English
aristocracy is also existent in this scene. The practice of "Bunburying" is
established, an act where each man lies to his family about an imaginary invalid
friend present somewhere else, in an attempt to pursue leisure activities
elsewhere. It is in this discussion that Jack admits to his friend Algernon
that he has been lying to his friend in order to maintain the disguise. Thus,
it seems as though the very relationship between the two men is founded on
deceit. Later in ...

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Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest. (2007, July 28). Retrieved September 18, 2018, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Oscar-Wildes-The-Importance-Being-Earnest/68718
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"Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest." Essayworld.com. July 28, 2007. Accessed September 18, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Oscar-Wildes-The-Importance-Being-Earnest/68718.
"Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest." Essayworld.com. July 28, 2007. Accessed September 18, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Oscar-Wildes-The-Importance-Being-Earnest/68718.
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 7/28/2007 06:05:17 PM
Category: Arts
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 872
Pages: 4

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