Wilde’s Earnest Satire The Importance of Being Earnest is a comedic play that was written by Oscar Wilde in the late 1800s. He believed that people in the Victorian Era took life too seriously. He wrote this play with various forms of satire to ridicule the strict lifestyle the upper-class were boxed into. The upper class had pretentious values and behaviors that characterized Victorian life. During the Victorian Era, people were living under Queen Victoria’s monarch.
Also, Wilde uses Lady Bracknell’s haughty comments to create elements of a satire comedy that parodies the upper class society in a Victorian era. Wilde also uses inversions and subversions of gender roles in society to challenge the social order. Through this Wilde exposes the upper class and their morals concerning social matters, therefore it can be said that the purpose of Wilde’s comedy was to educate people of the Victorian society and question their social norms and values. Works Cited The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde Comic Devices in The Importance of Being Earnest
Austen is able to comment on the injustices within society through Elizabeth’s stance on the issue of her gender role in marriage, the indifference between herself and her male counterparts, and the juxtaposition between herself and Charlotte Lucus During the novel Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Bennet pressures her daughters to follow the societal normality by finding a husband that would secure a future. Her whole pursuit in the novel is to see her daughters married in return for a higher social positioning. Marriage and the Social Class are all important values that are deeply rooted in Elizabeth’s mother. She takes on the role of a matchmaker figure, attempting to pair up her daughters. Unlike Elizabeth, Mrs. Bennet serves as a constant reminder of the importance of wealth and prosperity during this time.
The Importance of Being Earnest by famous literary provocateur Oscar Wilde was written during the Victorian era. The statement that “A text reflects the dominant ideologies of the time in which it was written” in reference to The Importance of Being Earnest is completely untrue. The play explores the inner workings of the Victorian upper class and challenges the attitudes and ideologies which society at the time was based. In particular Wilde criticised the certain social and financial expectations to marry in an upper-class or aristocratic society. Wilde also portrays women to have greater social and moral responsibility and power than men contrary to the ideology that “a woman was inferior to a man” and thus should be powerless.
You are the most earnest-looking person I ever saw in my life. It is perfectly absurd your saying that you name isn’t Ernest.” (Act I p. 14) Not only does Wilde put the concept of “being earnest” into question throughout the play but he doubles the irony by adding such importance to the name itself. For Algernon to tell Jack he is being ridiculous by asserting he has been lying about his name and... ... middle of paper ... ... on Victorian culture, the modern day reader is left with disdain for the earnest ideal. The characters rely on it only superficially. Through the play the meaning of the word is manipulated until its meaning is lost and the remaining value of the word is to essentially mask the true natures of the people who use the word (or name) too freely.
[n]ot even for ready money? (8), Algernon seems surprised that his wealth has not given him a slighted chance to obtain cucumbers over the common man. Algernon?s subordinate view of Lane also symbolizes his arrogance. As the story opens, Algernon wants to talk to Lane about himself, but... ... middle of paper ... ...e art impact life instead of simply imitating it. Wilde stood at the forefront of a movement by artists who deflected the confines of the scientific method to reform society.
Mr Birling is hardly willing to accept responsibility for Eva’s death. As said before he exploits his workers, thinking of them as nothing. To him Eva Smith was just a tiny cog in his great machine of making money and great impressions. He felt no responsibility for Eva throughout the play and only did when he realised he might be denied his knightship if the scandal was let into the open. He only planned to compensate her death by giving ‘thousands – yes, thousands’ not by admitting his guilt.
It seems that the value system of the upper class is complete out of place. As a comedy of manners, The Importance of Being Ernest mocks the mocks the behaviors of upper class Englishmen. Through a variety of literary devices, mainly satire, Wilde expresses his beliefs that upper class citizens are shallow, foolish, and have no respectable values. Throughout his play he uses an unnatural amount of symmetry to emphasize that all upper class citizens possess these qualities. With this play Wilde was hoping to enlighten people of social and societal flaws in order that they should be able to correct them.
Oscar Wilde satires the hypocrisy and stupidity of the strict Victorian aristocracy through the characters in The Importance of Being Earnest. It can be argued that the women of the play usurp the masculine power and this itself is what makes up the comedy as it would have been humorous to a patriarchal audience. Lady Bracknell is the archetypal of the absolute height of a society woman while both Gwendolyn and Cecily’s characters show potential of rivaling this type of power in the future. Arguably, Lady Bracknell is the character who exerts the most power and authority throughout the play. In this sense, the character’s social position within the upper class enables her to usurp the masculine power of the play.
People try to control others to make themselves feel important. Even businesses do not share the whole truth to try and get more clients. Whether you are rich or poor, you are still unable to control disasters such as a break up or a sickness. Even Oscar Wilde experienced the tragedy of getting something he did not deserve. He concluded that the only way to cope with this messed up life, is to laugh.