The Victorian era, characterized by a transition in the population’s way of perceiving traditional social conventions. As in Oscar Wilde’s works, the different generations of the English population are divided by their way of perceiving the world in which they live. In Wilde’s comedy The Importance of Being Earnest, the author denunciates the hypocrisy of the Victorian Era’s upper class. The famous writer uses moral paradoxes, his characters’ double-lives and their unconcern for truthfulness to satirize the upper class’ disingenuousness through his work. Wilde first uses moral paradoxes in his work to critique the second estate’s pious nature.
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.
Explore Jane Austen’s attitude to marriage in Pride and Prejudice Looking at the social, historical and cultural context In the 19th century when Austen wrote ‘Pride and Prejudice’, the way in which marriage was viewed was very different. It would have been expected of a young woman to find a ‘suitable’ partner for marriage before they were thirty, as after this they could be seen as an embarrassment to their family. By suitable, it does not mean in the way in which marriage is viewed today. Today marriage is seen as an expression of deep love and respect for another person. In Austen’s time, a ‘good’ marriage was seen to be one where wealth and social status of the man and woman were socially suitable.
Indeed, passion is the hallmark of modernism, aiding the prevalence of Jane Eyre amongst the mindless followers of the upper-class, albeit whilst hiding an inherent dilemma. This dilemma is the cognitive shift in the logic of the social class system, underpinned by the misperception of social behaviours stemming from this class system. This is an examination of this shift in how society is viewed, brought about by standards set by the upper class, incorporating an analysis of why Victorian readers cannot be forgiven for holding the belief that social class defines social behaviour, and discussing the way in which Jane Eyre has disclosed the altered human attitudes, values, and beliefs about the discourse of social class and behaviour. Social class, defined by the Australia Macquarie Dictionary as, “…a group which is part of the hierarchical structure of a society, usually classified by occupation, and having common economic, cultural and political status”, is a ubiquitous element of pr... ... middle of paper ... ... behaviours. The Victorian society recognise this cognitive shift but refuse to act as seen through Bronte’s novel, that informs the individualists around that time, that they were not alone.
Throughout the novel, as Elizabeth’s character grows, her feelings towards marriage are influenced by her family and society. After her visit to Pemberley, Elizabeth comes to the rational conclusion that marrying Darcy for his fortune is more practical than searching for her one true love. Elizabeth’s maturation comes with a transformation of belief that suggests Austen’s values are more conventional than they appear on the surface of her writing. Austen defies the norms of the period by suggesting that any harmonious relationship, especially marriage, is and should be based off of money.
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.
The theme of the play is the issues within the Victorian society, which mainly focuses on the topic of marriage. This is demonstrated when Jack asked Gwendolen for marriage. Lady Bracknell responded by asking him about his social standing instead of asking do he really love Gwendolen or not. This proves that social rank is more important than people true feelings towards someone. Wilde uses irony to bring out his opinion on the social class issue.
In “The Importance of Being Earnest”, Wilde expresses the concern with the Victorian people endeavoring to maintain an upper class reputation--while hiding the reality of their lives. The Victorian class system had an influential role on peoples lives. The Victorian class system was stringent was a strict one. The class a person belonged to is based on the wealth a family encompassed or the hereditary lineage a person is apart of. The class you belonged was revealed in peoples manners, speech/dialect, appearance, and values.
The men in this play are also guilty of the manipulative desires for marriage. Oscar Wilde’s work is an aggression on Victorian Society because marriage was used as a social convenience. Oscar Wilde gives foreshadowing in the beginning of the play of what he has in mind about marriage. “Good Heavens! Is marriage so demoralizing as that?” (Wilde 1762) This essay will be proving the critique of marriage being used as a social tool.
Her concept of beauty is one that is not tied to monetary things; instead, Hedda longs for the better things in life. For example, in the text, she tells Judge Brack that she did not care about the house that her husband worked so hard for, often worryi... ... middle of paper ... ... into silence, Hedda Gabler’s character works against the ideals for women in late 19th century European society. Hedda’s desire for beauty was more complex than met the eye; she desired the things in life that money could not give her such as enlightenment and truth. Hedda desired to have a power over words prospectively because she had no other power in society. However, she eventually retreated into silence as did other women of the late 19th century in Europe.