roosevelt

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Oscar Wilde establishes a difference between Jack and Algernon by creating a spoof on Jacks masculinity, through Algernon’s dandyish nature and by giving each of them certain characteristics. Right from the start, Jack Worthing is depicted as the ingénue character of this novel. This is of course a satire of the ideal Victorian man. The classic Victorian man was socially confident, had a personal presence, and was almost certainly the dominating voice in a conversation with a lady. However, Oscar Wilde creates Jack as the ingénue by letting him be easily dominated, by putting him in the shoes of the innocent, unsophisticated and naïve when talking to the knowledgeable, sophisticated and worldly Gwendolen, and by being slow witted when talking to Algernon. When Jack is talking to Gwendolen it becomes noticeable of his lack of masculinity and Gwendolen’s ‘appetite’ and intelligence. An example of this is when Jack is tentatively going about the subject of marriage by talking about the weather and Gwendolen says “don’t talk to me about the weather, Mr Worthing. Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite certain they mean something else.” Instead of blushing and keeping quite, she puts him on his heels and states what she thinks; this is a very unladylike trait. As a result of Jack’s ingénue nature, his response is not a gentlemanly one. He is reserved and unable to say what he wants to. Consequently, he amateurishly fails to propose gentlemanly and relies on Gwendolen to lead him. By writing this, Wilde has created Jack as the ingénue and lady Gwendolen as the outspoken, educated and domineering figure. This is ironic as it should be the other way round. Jack is also quite futile when it comes to a joke Algern... ... middle of paper ... ...e would admit to it immediately. This shows Algie’s ability to think on his feet, which as Gwendolen proven, Jacks lacks in. In this play one can tell that Algernon of all people does not take anything seriously apart from the most trivial of matters. When it comes to proposing Jack says he came up to town for “pleasure”, whereas Algernon believes it is “business”. Moreover, when Algernon is playing the piano on the first page he says, “I don’t play accurately – anybody can play accurately – but I play with wonderful expression”. This shows the polarity between the two of them; Jack takes seriously what Algernon does not and vise versa. Therefore, Oscar Wilde establishes a difference between the two of them by depicting Jack as the ingénue and Algernon as the dandy; by giving Algernon the gift of the gab opposite to Jack and by creating a satire on Jacks manliness.

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