Importance Of Victorian Society

1006 Words5 Pages
Society’s view of social classes and one’s identity is continuously morphing to fit in new views and essentially to create an ideal culture. During the Victorian Era, the views of the social classes were very black and white when it came to the values and lives of the rich verses the poor. During this era there were many pieces of literature written to show example of the society they lived in. One of the most satirical of those pieces of literature is The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde. The Victorian people were obsessed with image. It was important to know who your parents are in society. That lineage is how you can tell what your “ranking” is in society. It is a culture that is very much focused on your bloodline and how you…show more content…
When the two women are in this scene they are trying to show their dominance in society and in their class. Cecily asks Gwendolen if she would like sugar in her tea, Gwendolen answers “no, thank you. Sugar is not fashionable any more.” In response, Cecily puts four lumps of sugar into Gwendolen’s tea. After giving her the tea, Cecily asks, “cake or bread and butter?” Gwendolen answers, “bread and butter, please. Cake is rarely seen at the best houses nowadays.” Gwendolen’s comment on her choice of food is silently showing that she is far higher in rank than Cecily. Following Gwendolen’s answer Cecily “cuts a very large slice of cake” (Wilde, 1763) for Gwendolen that she gives to one of the butlers. This quiet show of dominance that Cecily creates toward Gwendolen is a good example of competing among your peers, and to Gwendolen, these choices are just another way to show your peers just how important and in style you are. She sets an exaggerated example of the real aristocracy in the Victorian Era that was coursing with pride and…show more content…
Who was your father? He was evidently a man of some wealth. Was he born in what the Radical papers call the purple of commerce, or did he rise from the ranks of aristocracy?” Jack replies to her with, “I’m afraid I really don’t know… I don’t actually know who I am by birth… I was found.” After Jack explains that he was found in a handbag in the cloak room at Victoria Station, Lady Bracknell tells Jack that “it could hardly be regarded as an assured basis for a recognized position in good society.” (Wilde, 1744) This is one of the key examples of the stress the Victorian society placed on the importance of your background. Lady Bracknell is the number one character to examplorate the importance of your
Open Document