Throughout the story of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, Oscar pointed out many oblivious actions done by the characters. He constantly used the characters to exaggerate actions of our society today. Wilde uses exaggerations to show how the characters were unable to be a complete individual without the face of the strict social expectations influencing their actions. Everywhere in the society, they are all unable to make their own decisions, and it is very hard for them to be truthful towards who they are without societal norms interfering causing them to lose all individuality.
Wilde’s comedic influence takes place in the characters placing emphasis on trivial things and treating serious matters with inconsequence. Though this play could be viewed as a simple comedy, what makes it a satirical work is the underlying social commentary. Wilde highlights his views on institutions such as love, marriage, and gender relations by satirizing their nature via reductio ad absurdum and thereby reveals their essential frivolity.
In his play The Importance of Being Earnest (1895, London St. James’ theater), Oscar Wilde portrays the attitudes and society of Victorian upper class through character interactions within the ‘Bunburyist’ adventures of Algernon Moncrieff and Jack Worthing. The play’s comedic elements, in addition to the portrayal of power structures, are used as an effective medium to challenge the viewer to reflect upon Wilde’s criticism on institutions and values of the aristocracy. In conjunction to this, deeper analysis can be conducteds about marriage in Victorian aristocracy and their attitudes to members of other social groups.
Love. Love is a very fickle emotion that affects an individual drastically. It can cloud a person’s perception of someone and can cause one to act in a way that they would normally never do. Love is what caused Pip, a young character from the novel, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, to drastically change from an innocent boy to a foolish man. As a child, Pip was always sweet yet dilapidated beyond repair, because he was neglected as a child. So, when he found someone that he “loved”, he latched on immediately and didn’t let go because he was afraid of abandonment. Pip’s first time meeting Estella, his first love, and his experience in the Satis House changed him in such a way that he can never revert back to the person he was. He grew such a strong feeling of love
What is a relationship without love? It isn 't something that can last forever. It can not overcome the issues that arise in everyday life. It is a business deal that 's as fragile as the bonds it was built around. Only relationships that are completely based in love can survive the turmoils we encounter. In Shakespeare 's Much Ado About Nothing, there are example of both loveless marriages, like Claudio and Hero 's, and marriages based on true love, like Benedick and Beatrice. The relationship based around fake love has encountered many problems and barely held on, not setting a bright example for the future. Shakespeare shows that for a marriage to work, true love must be the main basis or else the smallest issues will destroy the weak
The Great Gatsby is a novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and narrated by a man named Nick Carraway. This novel was written with the intent of showing the readers how morally corrupt the 1920s were. Throughout the novel, characters abandon their moral values for a materialistic lifestyle. The novel depicts a great picture of the roles men and women played in the 1920s. Even with the changing roles of men and women, they continued to rely heavily on whom they were married to and what social class they belonged to. It is assumed that men and women, for the most part, only married within their social upbringing. Wealth was the goal, but old money was the unreachable dream for some. Throughout the novel a major theme that is apparent is that morals
When it comes to learning about the characters in a story, analyzes look at the characters’ characterization through the plays. For Shakespeare, he focused on the relationships of his characters in his plays to underline the true meaning of love. From his comedic plays to his tragedies, the love between two or more characters signified an irrational and crazy way love operates in his plays. In his play, Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare described the typical “perfect” couple, Hero and Claudio, and the “surprising” couple, Benedick and Beatrice. In Act 4, these relationships are put to the test whether their relationships are true and honest after the wedding. In addition, they questioned whether their relationship with each other is true picture of true love where Claudio and Hero love each other, as well as Benedick and Beatrice. Shakespeare’s two couples, Claudio-Hero and Benedick-Beatrice, in Much Ado About Nothing are two different relationships that has express the love-hate relationship within the play.
Oscar Wilde’s Victorian melodramatic play The Importance of Being Earnest opened on February 14, 1895. Wilde used this play to criticize Victorian society through clever phrasing and satire. Throughout the play The Importance of Being Earnest, Wilde displayed the themes of the nature of marriage, the constraints of morality, and the importance of not being earnest.
Austen’s famous statement on marriage and equality continues to resonate in modern society. In comparison to today, the Victorian era significantly suppressed women’s rights (Hughes). However, Austen juxtaposes that idea by stating that it is the man, no matter how wealthy, who ‘must be in want of a wife.’ By saying ‘must’ (word choice) and stating that he has a ‘good fortune’, she is using pathos to attack the male psychology and challenge the meaning of being a complete man. This controversial statement can grab the attention of most male readers.
Oscar Wilde’s satirical play The Importance of Being Earnest, set in the late Victorian era, London, is a portrayal of British upper class society and its conventions surrounded by a strict code of conduct. In 1890’s class society, earnestness was desired; to follow the moral code and social obligations in order to keep up one’s appearance. Besides, there was a huge gender disparity between men and women. In the play, Wilde criticizes the social inequality and Victorian upper class standards. He characterizes Victorian personae making fun of their qualities; hypocrisy, arrogance and absurdism, ultimately the very vital state and lifeline of not being earnest at all in Victorian society.
Author Brigitte Bastiat describes how Wilde exemplifies these gender roles in her essay “The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) by Oscar Wilde: Conformity and Resistance in Victorian Society.” In the essay, Bastiat claims the play “suggest[s] that the gender order may be disrupted and changed, and Oscar Wilde was certainly one of the first ones to do so … as a means of expression for his questioning and mockery of both the social and gender orders.” Wilde has the characters hold sexist judgements against one another to reveal how arbitrary the upper class’ opinion were on gender roles. In Act I of The Importance of Being Earnest, Algernon presents this misogynist claim: “The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her, if she is pretty, and to someone else if she is plain” (899). Not only does this statement suggest the purpose of a woman is to please a man, it shows the upper class cares about appearances. Nevertheless, the women in the play are equally as vain. Bastiat makes a similar comparison in her essay by stating, “In the play, Algy and Jack are idle and lazy, but morally the women are not better than them: like them, they are idle, lie, cheat and are interested in money.” Both Gwendolen and Cecily request that their partner’s names be “Ernest” and are pitted against one another when they believe they were engaged to the same man. Furthermore, Gwendolen disapproves of men who are involved with the public sphere, and she judges her father in Act II by advocating, “The home seems to me to be the proper sphere for the man. And certainly once a man begins to neglect his domestic duties he becomes painly effeminate, does he not?” (913). Even though women were discouraged from being involved with the public sphere, Gwendolen’s disapproval for any gender stepping up to the public sphere shows Wilde’s
Another theme illustrated through Wilde’s use of motifs and symbols is the theme of superficiality. The theme of superficiality can be understood as a sense of the superficial view of outer beauty that is shown in the work. It relates to the concept of remaining young, which is an important factor of what is shown in the novel. This is an important part of the novel because outer beauty plays a bigger role for Dorian, than inner beauty does. In the beginning of the novel, Lord Henry and Dorian have a conversation that focuses on the topic of youth and Dorian 's outer beauty – Lord Henry mentions the fact that Dorian has a beautiful face, and later during this conversation, Lord Henry states that: “youth is the only thing worth having…” (Wilde 23). This conversation leads Dorian to wish that he will only age in the painting, and not in reality. Wilde creates a theme of superficiality as he shows through motifs and symbols how Dorian’s sinful and horrific inner beauty becomes excused as the characters of the novel primarily superficially values Dorian’s outer beauty.
The play An Ideal Husband was written by Oscar Wilde in 1895 in England’s Victorian era. This era was characterised by sexual anarchy amongst men and women where the stringent boundaries that delineated the roles of both men and women were continually being challenged by threatening figures such as the New Woman represented by Mrs Cheveley and dandies such as Lord Goring(Showalter, 3). An Ideal Husband ultimately affirms Lord Goring’s notions about the inequality of the sexes because of the evident limitations placed on the mutability of identity for female characters versus their male counterparts (Madden, 5). These limitations will be further elaborated upon in the context of the patriarchal aspects of Victorian society which contributed to the failed attempts of blackmail by Mrs Cheveley, the manner in which women are trapped by their past and their delineated role of an “angel of truth and goodness” (Powell, 89). The play further affirms Goring’s
The Importance of Being Earnest written by Oscar Wilde is an excellent play which has many underlying themes and suggestions especially with regards to the Victorian era, during which this was written. Many themes within the play are reflective of Wilde and his life, including his secrecy and supposed “double life,” his interest in aestheticism, his life pertaining the mannerisms and social etiquette during his lifetime.
While many have been familiar with the title of the play The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, one should also pay attention to its subtitle, ‘trivial comedy for serious people’. The play is a satire that ridicules the upper class to point out its fault (Kreuz and Roberts 100).The aim is to ridicule the ‘serious people’, members of the upper class in Victorian society. The characters were too attentive to social propriety and etiquette, which were as trivial as the comedy suggests in the eyes of Wilde. As they were too stubborn to alter the behaviour, the propriety and etiquette became superficial and meaningless. Their idleness and hypocrisy are other points at which Wilde recurrently mock in the play. This essay illustrates how Wilde reinforce his criticism of the upper class at a satirical tone with his writing style at three levels: inter-scene, intra-scene, and within a word.