Oscar Wilde And Virginia Woolf Essay

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Satire is a genre of literature that many authors have written in, particularly when writing in or about the Victorian time period. Authors would write satirical novels with the intent to provide constructive social criticism, to draw attention to issues in their society, and to shame individuals, corporations, governments, and society, in general, into improvement. Two writers who successfully use satire in their works are Oscar Wilde and Virginia Woolf. Both writers satirize gender roles and social status in their respective works of The Importance of Being Earnest and Between the Acts. In his play, Wilde utilizes the techniques of inversion and puns to get his satire across, which work together to form a specific critique of marriage and social status in a Victorian society, and those that enforce these rules. Woolf, on the other hand, uses both parody and irony to create a more relatable and less direct viewpoint on society and the people who fit into it. Both Oscar Wilde and Virginia Woolf use satire to criticize gender roles and social status in a Victorian society, but through different techniques direct their satire at different audiences.
In The Importance of Being Earnest, one of the most common satirical techniques utilized by Wilde is inversion. Inversion is considered a reversal of order, form, or another relationship. Most of the inversion seen in the play concerns the female characters and challenges their traditional gender roles.
Lady Bracknell, Gwendolen Fairfax, and Cecily Cardew are all female character’s who challenge gender roles. In the case of Lady Bracknell, she is presented more as a father figure to her daughter, Gwendolen, then a mother. In a scene in Act I, Lady Bracknell takes on the role of the f...

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...w in the Reverend and shows him as an ordinary man.
Satire is a broad genre that many writers, particularly those writing in or about the Victorian time period, like to use in their works. Satire is often used to criticize society, and attempt to bring attention to the social or political issues the writer sees. One Victorian-era writer who uses satire a lot in his works is Oscar Wilde. Wilde used satire to get across his distain for traditional gender and marriage roles, and utilizes this in his play The Importance of Being Earnest. Meanwhile, another author who does the same is that of Virginia Woolf, who’s last novel, Between the Acts, uses satire through the techniques of parody and irony to get across her criticism on gender roles. Overall, both writers use satire in a unique and relevant way to get across their distain for gender roles in a Victorian society.
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