Irony in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

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Irony in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde The play The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde is full of irony. Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, the protagonists in the play, get themselves into a complicated situation called Bunburyism (as Algernon refers to it). They pretend to be someone that they are not to escape their daily lives. They lie to the women they admire and eventually the truth is unveiled. The irony comes into play when the truth starts to unravel and Jack finds out what really happened to him as a child and why he does not know his parents. After some coincidental events, all the main characters end up in the same room. When Lady Bracknell hears Ms. Prism’s (the woman Jack hired as his nieces governess) name she immediately asks to see her. She continues to say that Ms. Prism had wandered off with a baby years ago and asks what came about of that. Ms. Prism continues the dialog to explain how she misplaced a baby that was in her bag at a train station. Jack, thinking he might have been that very baby, retrieves the bag he was found in as an infant in which Ms. Prism identifies by some distinguishing marks to have been her own. Jack realized the woman that had been teaching his niece was his mother. But then Lady Bracknell explained that she was not but Lady Bracknell’s poor sister Mrs. Moncrieff was. The irony continues to explain how Jack and Algernon were biological brothers. They were pretending to be earlier to play out their game of Bunburyism. Jack had told everybody he had a brother in which was he used as his justification to leave his home in the country and visit his "brother" in the city. Algernon pretends to be Jack brother "Earnest" in order to win over Jack beautiful "niece" Cecily. Jack- "Algy’s elder brother! Then I have a brother after all. I knew I had a brother! I always said I had a brother! Cecily- how could you have ever doubted that I had a brother." (pg. 305) Jack’s reaction shows evidence of his happiness of his new found brother. The same man that played his brother in their mind games with friends and family.
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