Marriage in The Importance of Being Earnest The Importance of Being Earnest is a play by Oscar Wilde. Oscar describes his play as A Trivia comedy for serious people. The protagonists in the play maintains being fictitious in order to escape burdensome social obligations. The play is lighthearted with flippant comments and offhand jokes, however the play contains serious undertones and social commentary about marriage and the society. Oscar Wilde in his plat portrays marriage in the Victorian Era as arranged for the upper class.
Wilde identifies the cocky attitude of the upper class by presenting characters with false perceptions of their self-importance in society. When Lane the servant says there were no cucumbers at the market, Algernon seems surprised that his wealth has not given him an opportunity to get cucumbers over the common man. Algernon’s lower view of Lane also shows how arrogant he is. As the play opens, Algernon wants to talk to Lane about himself, but as soon as Lane mentions something from his own personal life, Algernon points out that he has no interest in your family life. Algernon views lower class to have absolutely no sense of moral or purpose.
Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest Webster’s dictionary defines earnest as “characterized by or proceeding from an intense and serious state of mind.” This definition is subject to total upheaval by Oscar Wilde in The Importance of Being Earnest. The title suggests a treatise on the value of solemnity in everyday life. However, Wilde presents us with an ironic play that leaves us with the opposite lesson. None of the characters benefit from propriety. The least serious characters, Algernon and Jack are rewarded in the end for their frivolous behavior throughout the play, implying that there is very little, if any, importance to being earnest, excepting that you give the appearance of such, for example the name.
All in all Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ preserves its comedic appeal to an ever changing contemporary audience despite the fact it was written in the Victorian era. The use of literacy devices and satirical techniques exhibits the themes of marriage, death and the use of the word earnest and how it correlates to the play showcase the satirical craftsmanship of his epigram and with this proves that this renowned piece of literature sparked uproar during 19th century Britain which preserved the Irish born playwright as one of the greatest.
In his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell develops his Socialist Utopia as a paradoxical society that ultimately succeeds rather than flounders. The society that Orwell creates is full of paradoxes that existed all the way up to its origins. The founders of the new lifestyle, known as the revolutionaries of the mid-twentieth century, leads the public to believe false intentions of revolt, as these purposes soon become exact opposite outcomes. The original designers seek to create an ideal social order out of England that is beneficial to all. Marin Kessler, a literary essayist, agrees that these 'utopians…had hoped to construct a perfect society in which men and women could enjoy that ultimate degree of happiness which, it was implied denied through the folly and wickedness of their present rulers'; (304).
Wilde’s Importance of Being Earnest, although it showcases certain Aesthetic elements, incisively critiques Victorian society. The play is not a functionless work of pure beauty. Conversely, Boggs’ project clearly serves an instructional function while it simultaneously revels in its own beauty. Moreover, Boggs himself is often uncertain of what his art represents and does. When placed side-by-side, The Importance of Being Earnest and Boggs queer the division between Aestheticism and Functionalism, suggesting that both schools are unattainable ideals.
New York: McGraw-Hill, 1990: 533-544. 2 vols.
Use of Language Irony is portrayed in limitless forms but in Oscar Wilde’s play, The Importance of Being Earnest, it is exposed through Wilde’s use of language. To begin his play, Wilde uses Jack and Gwendolen’s relationship to show how little effort people in the Victorian Era put forth to claim the reputation of being earnest. Wilde’s view on rich people is delineated through the shallowness of Algernon and Lady Bracknell who believe that since they are rich, they are able to control natural forces such as death. Finally, Wilde displays irony through his two major characters, Jack and Algernon. They are both childish men that end up with the most in the end even though they are the least deserving.