Importance Of Being Earnest Essay

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Cecily’s Diary of Reality in The Importance of Being Earnest In The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde uses wit to undermine the societal expectations of women. Set in England during the late 19th century, the play shows the shallow and trivial attitude of the upper-class Victorian society. This status-driven society favors men, creating a dissatisfying life for women. The male characters, particularly Algernon Moncreiff, uses wit to show superiority over women. Yet, Cecily Cardew’s wit and cleverness best Algernon at his own game. Although often interpreted as a sign of farcical psychosis, Cecily’s diary actually reveals her true intelligence and dominance over Algernon. Algernon Moncreiff, an upper-class male, traipses around…show more content…
Her womanhood cloaks any ambitions, as Cecily is written off as an overdramatic young girl, who makes up fantasies. Her diary, which holds the “wonderful secrets” of her life, is not a collection of delusions, but an accurate description of her daily doings. When Miss Prism suggests that Cecily just rely on her memory, Cecily counters that “it [memory] usually chronicles the things that have never happened, and couldn’t possibly have happened” (57-58). Cecily recognizes the minds power to play tricks on the subconscious. Only someone with astute awareness and critical intelligence can utilize such metacognition. More so, Cecily believes that “Memory is responsible for nearly all the three-volume novels that Mudie sends us,” meaning she does not see their worth (58). When Miss Prism challenges Cecily on her opinion by saying that she wrote a three-volume novel herself, she says “Did you really Miss Prism? How wonderfully clever you are!” defaulting into the societal perception of her as a guileless girl (58). Cecily’s view of her diary becomes important when analyzing the relationship between her and…show more content…
Cecily mentions her diary to Algernon and she explains “it is simply a very young girl’s record of her own thought sand impressions and consequently meant for publication. When it appears in volume form I hope you will order a copy” (73). However, this directly contrasts Cecily’s previous conversation with Miss Prism about the purpose of her journal and the quality of such novels. Cecily does not keep her diary for the intent of a novel; she keeps it as a record of life. Therefore, everything Cecily mentions about the diary from this point forward is just a tool of manipulation. Cecily intrigues Algernon with her diary that she claims is full of information about their three-month
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