Through out The Importance of Being Earnest, the characters express openly their aversion for the truth. Wilde demonstrates his disapproval of such behaviour by exaggerating his characters’ insouciance for the truth. The author creates a taboo around truth that is shared by the characters that view it as a sin. Lady Bracknell even claims that she never undeceived her husband, she even adds that she “would consider it wrong” (Wilde 76). With Lady Bracknell’s extreme discourse, Wilde denunciates the upper class’ tendency to lie to keep events and relations going smoothly.
The populace seeking to better their lives, sought after employment in newly-formed industries. During this era, the society was categorized into three classes: upper, middle, and lower class and this system was the called the social class system. In Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, the class system played an important role. These classes and the differences between them were clear in the interaction of the characters and in the plot of novel. Dickens had a negative view of this system, where the upper class is omnipotent, the middle class consists of those envious of the upper class, and the lower class who are unable to succeed due to their birth status.
In the Victorian Era, the industrious workers of the middle and working classes had to do strenuous tasks in order to take care for the families and have a complacent lifestyle. On the contrary, the upper classes were wealthy landowners who often did not work and often subdued themselves to different luxurious indulgences. In the 2nd Industrial Revolution, the rich indulged in luxuries while the middle and working classes need to work to cater for themselves. Evidently, the upper class in the Victorian Era indulged themselves in exorbitant experiences instead of being a laborious worker. The origin of the aristocracy was first proven when they exposed their lifestyle, however, Kenneth Morgan implies, “ The aristocracy came to be known to the urban population chiefly through their representation in the popular press and magazines as men and women as leisure: racing, hunting, shooting and fishing in the country, gambling and attending the season in London” (493).
This hindered the new class from ever attaining Aristocratic Social acceptance for their new wealth and deemed them the nouveaux riche. Despite obvious disapproval from the Aristocracy the nouveaux riche continued their economic ascent through "personal contact [which] was a crucial element in filling posts" (Loftus 5). This dependence upon others for mounting economic standing was contrary to the middle class value of independence. This industrial class was forced to rely upon the connections, potentially aristocratic, in order to succeed. Loftus explains that middle-class values were carved out in these attempts to define a society based on merit rather than aristocratic privilege.
While it is widely understood now that Victorian society was one of excess and frivolity, it most certainly seemed legitimate to members of high society at the time. However, this was not the case with Oscar Wilde, who in his final play made mockery of his countrymen by satirizing the way in which they lived. This play, entitled The Importance of Being Earnest, follows the courtship of two young girls and exaggerates the absurd formalities of such a process in high society. The characters are shallow and delusional as a result of their upbringing, and collectively their words bring harsh criticism to the British upper class. These characters can be split into two clear categories.
This assumption of gentile qualities in those of the upper class was the result of political or economic power. These two opposites, quality versus heredity, caused the confusion among those in the Victorian Society. Some authors of the time tried to merge the two notions that gentile qualities derived from societal standards as well as defined morals. Lauren Goodland tried to interpret what a gentleman stood for in this age arguing that it was both empirical and based on education yet mystified and relied on one’s genetics (Landow, “The Political Function of the Gentleman”). This skewed perception of what a gentleman was denied people from accepting the fact that poor people could be gentlemen whereas wealthy people could be rude and void of moral principles.
Nick Carraway tells us from the start that he’s tired of the dramas of the upper class. By saying he wants 'the world to be in uniform', the reader knows that class difference will be part of the novella's plot. The first class that Fitzgerald criticises is the rich, particularly those of 'old money'. During the 1920s there were social classes which segregated the people into different groups. The higher social classes during this time had a lot of money, but if you had earned instead of inherited your money you were considered 'new money' and therefore inferior.
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.
Jane Austen grew up during the late 18th and early 19th century when British culture was surrounded with a set of domestic concerns over money, status, and property. Therefore, people focused primarily on the wealth within their own family. Austen uses satirical references about marriage to show that it was normal for daughters to be censored from what they generally want in a marriage because they became the income of their families’ wealth. As a result, personal desires and flaws tied in with the expectations of society. This is the reason people started to obtain pride, or having a high opinion of one’s self, and prejudice, or judging people before knowing them.
The higher society views themselves as superior because of their “net worth.” Money is valued so highly that you are shamed if you lose it, And when she said: But my name, Auntie my name's Regina Dallas,' I said: It was Beaufort when he covered you with jewels, and it's got to stay Beaufort now that he's covered you with shame' (Wharton 271). Lauren Tomlinson stressed the idea of how “money is used as a symbol of human value.” Tomlinson agrees that materialistic values are flawed in the world of the novel. Their vain society focuses on lavish parties and opera shows as a way of determining who is important and who is not. Indeed, she always gave her ball on an Opera night in order to emphasize her complete superiority to household cares, and her possession of a staff of servants competent to organise every detail of the entert... ... middle of paper ... ...nocence is a warning to humanity that we will be very shallow and hated if one continues to put wealth before others. Works Cited Bussey, Jennifer.