Essay about The Importance of Being Earnest and Modern Day London?

Essay about The Importance of Being Earnest and Modern Day London?

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The speed that we allow and enable our world to change and adapt is often a common topic among people. When I think back to my childhood it now seems so outdated and old fashioned, yet it was such a short time ago; showing me how fast were developing as people and as a planet. In the Victorian era, when The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde was written and set, they were just discovering cars for the rich, and railways were becoming a popular form of transport. Nowadays the development of technology has allowed man to walk on the moon and we are able to fly to the other side of the world in just a day. The contrast in these two statements is so vast; it is difficult to see how a person from either era could survive without really struggling, if their roles were reversed. While I’m not sure about Cecily and Gwendolen, I am certain that Jack and Algernon could survive and prosper in a modern day city like London.

Gwendolen represents the typical Victorian woman, always striving for the ideals, attending lectures and is constantly looking for ways to improve herself. I think that whilst Gwendolen appears to the reader as independent and intellectual, she is also particularly naïve and pretentious. This naivety is shown as she becomes fixated with the name Earnest; the name being partly why she falls in love with Jack, believing he is in fact someone he is not. She claims that the name Earnest “inspires absolute confidence”, resulting in her becoming obsessed with finding a husband who goes by that name even stating that any other name would simply not do and that she pities “any woman who is married to a man called John” (15), solely because that is his name. This ignorance would simply not be found nowadays, as people ...


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...of surviving in a modern city such as London but initially they would struggle to much and be unable to sustain themselves in such a demanding environment. Jack and Algernon however I feel have the capability to survive and thrive under such circumstances although there double lives would be substantially harder to pull off now as people are much more wary and suspicious. I think Algernon in particular would flourish as I think the kind of character he’s portrayed as in the book would seemingly take the opportunity to explore and learn more eagerly. It can be very difficult to predict how people are going to react when put in certain situations but certain personality traits are always going to become glaringly obvious and useful, and Jacks intelligence and Algernon’s cleverness are the main characteristics that I believe would enable them so survive and prosper.

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