The Importance Of Being Earnest by Wilde

analytical Essay
1057 words
1057 words

The Satire of Earnestness

It was a play that made controversy in the lush mansions of Victorian society.

Subtitled "A Trivial Comedy for Serious People," The Importance of Being Earnest jokingly criticized Victorian manners and morals and attacking the society of the rich and luxurious. Oscar Wilde incorporated his own beliefs and ideology into the play by alluding to Victorian society "lets duplicity led to happiness." It is this "happiness" Wilde's play focuses on by concentrating the theme of the play on marriage.

Alluding to marriage, The Importance of Being Earnest begins with the witty and selfish Algernon. It is Algernon who is the amoral bachelor and has not one problem with that because he believes that "divorces are made in heaven" and is utterly against marriage as viewing marriage a waste of time (118). The reasoning for Algernon's views is a stand in for Wilde's own beliefs. The quote on marriage, which there is several from Algernon, is quite entertaining to the reader that is because the reader can see that Algernon's conclusion of marriage is preposterous for that time period. However, in real life, during the twenty-first century, which is well after the Victorian age, the fact that "divorces are made in heaven" is actually quite true by today's standards. Even though Algernon clearly expresses his own views on marriage, Earnest (in the city), who is actually Jack, continues to pursue his plans of proposing to Gwendolyn. The reader is again amused as Earnest attempts to propose to Gwendolyn and Gwendolyn directing Earnest on how to propose. Earnest states "[They] must get married at once" Gwendolyn, who seems surprised, replies to Earnest's declaration be saying "[He] hasn't

proposed yet" Gwen...

... middle of paper ..., reveals to Gwendolyn and Cecily that there is no Earnest and that they are both not engaged to the same man (167-168). Once again in the play, the parody of the actions of the girls and not wanting to marry Jack and Algernon because their names are not Earnest, becomes apparent to the reader.

The ending to The Importance of Being Earnest is sweet satisfaction to the reader. Jack discovers that his real name is in fact Earnest, and that Gwendolyn and Jack, I mean Earnest, can finally get married. It is the last sentence of the play that the Wilde comes to

reveal the conclusion of "now realizing…the vital importance of being Earnest." The play follows the seriousness of the life of upper class society and displays it as a joke.

However, though the play is intended to be satiric, the reader and Earnest himself realizes

why it is useful to be "earnest."

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how oscar wilde's the importance of being earnest criticized victorian manners and morals, attacking the society of the rich and luxurious.
  • Analyzes how algernon's view of marriage is preposterous for the victorian age, but it is true in real life.
  • Analyzes how wilde uses lady bracknell's interview of earnest to mock the values of london society, which put a higher premium on social connections than on character or goodness.
Continue ReadingCheck Writing Quality

Let the AI Magic Supercharge Your Grades!

    Continue Reading