This seminarpaper will provide a deeper interpretation of the The Importance of Being Earnest analyzing Wilde´s intentions for writing it. He believed that people in the Victorian Era took life too seriously. Social class has been known ever since the late eighteenth century. Hence, it is a trivial comedy having little meanings for serious people the people obsessed. First published in 1930, yet acknowledged since the late 1800s, The Importance of Being Earnest helped to revive the theater tradition of Congreve and Sheridan. Much of the humor in this play draws a fine line between the outer life of appearances and the inner life of rebellion against the social code that says life must be lived earnestly. Why Jack took the name Earnest? To conclude, Wilde satirises Victorian Society by inverting serious and trivial matters.
More shockingly, Algernon makes the statement that the 'lower orders' ''seem, as a class, to have absolutely no sense of moral responsibility. Therefore, Algernon's idleness is not merely laziness, but the product of someone who has cultivated an esteemed sense of aesthetic uselessness. Sometimes you just need an alter-ego. Likewise, Algernon creates a friend whom he calls Bunbury so that he may escape from town to the country whenever he likes. Satire is a literary tone used to ridicule or make fun of human vice or weakness, often with the intent of correcting, or changing, the subject of the satirical attack. Rather than associating death with grieving and suffering, these characters portray death as a method of conveniently eliminating unwanted people, whether imaginary or not.
You are, of course, free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them for your essay. His characters show perfectly the falseness of the people during this time and the ideals of which they had. Gwendolen is the paragon of this value. So to arrest the love of an urban lady Jack took another fictitious name Earnest and went to London. The play is lighthearted with flippant comments and offhand jokes, however the play contains serious undertones and social commentary about marriage and the society. Simply put, it is the serious and determined desire to do the right thing. Oscar Wilde played a major role in Victorian England, having a major influence through his writing.
By living double lives, people were able to sustain their respectable image in society but then be their selves elsewhere. Yet, Eltis finds crucial unconventional elements in Earnest. Then the excitement is all over. In fact, the dandy in these plays always proves to be deeply moral and essential to the happy resolution of the plot. Comedic works have been characterized as ending in all being right in the world. Often parents had the final say on who their daughter was to marry, as evident in Lady Bracknell's statement to Gwendolen that either she, or her husband, would 'inform' Gwendolen of the fact if Gwendolen was engaged.
Through humor Wilde shows how ridiculous the behavior of Victorians is. In general, the older generation thinks of marriage as a means to an end, a way of maintaining or bettering your social position. For Wilde, a gay man in the hyper-repressive Victorian Era, it was necessary and absolutely imperative—it was dang well earnest—to divide yourself up when you lived under the thumb of Victorianism. Algy has told everybody that he goes to the countryside in order to meet his friend Bunbury who is quite ill while Jack tells everybody in the countryside that he has his brother namely Earnest in the city and he goes there to meet him. Again Wilde criticizes the Victorians for believing that appearance is much more important than truth. Wilde's satire here is gentle and humorous, chiding a society for its self-importance.
Which trait is most shown by both Cecily and Gwendolen in this excerpt? In 1891, his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, appeared and was attacked as scandalous and immoral. Jack became liar in the process of living an earnest life. The presence of earnestness in someone is not a bad thing but the fact that people started holding each other to this standard as if it was the only way is what caused the trouble. One might certainly see him as a representation of Wilde's cleverness and position in the aesthetic cult of the 1890s. During the Victorian Era, being superficial was the current fashion of the people.
The Victorian age was the time period where rapid change and developments in nearly every sphere was evident-from advances in medical, scientific, and technological knowledge to change in population and location. During his days at Dublin and Oxford, he developed a set of attitudes and postures for which he would eventually become famous. Health is the primary duty of life. Jack explains to Lady Bracknell that he has no politics. No, it's been infiltrating the global scene since the time when the sun never set on the British Empire.
It is hypocrisy of the concerned people. However, the sordidness of the lovers' ulterior motives is dwarfed by the priorities of Lady Bracknell, who epitomizes the Victorian tendency to view marriage as a financial arrangement. Both women are hopelessly in love with their male counterparts. Popular Culture The popular attitudes of the day about the French, literary criticism, and books are also subjects of Wilde's humor. But if this phrase was uttered at the end of his life, toward his downfall, the betrayal of his fans, the loss of a wife and a lover, his inevitable imprisonment; it would make much more sense for this troubled man. If strict moral values leave no room for question, a society loses much of what is known as humanity. Jack and Algernon are both epitomes of this double life scandal.
This ludicrous plight of Gwendolen can be seen in her submissive reactions to every word of her mother. For him, this institution is quite hollow. Yet it seems that the characters in the play do not agree exactly about what earnestness is. What does she value in a marriage? His alter ego, however, casts his likeability into doubt and as the reader quickly learns, he embodies the that is in question throughout the play. The Victorian era was about progress. In his prime, Oscar Wilde was a social butterfly, admired and accepted by an artistic circle until his illicit affair became public; throughout his plays, he mocked the same London society with which he himself was quite involved.