Love And Love In Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest

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Love is a complicated affair, it involves the two lives of the couples and the lives of everyone around them. There are many factors that could break or make a relationship, for one to be successful they must be able to succeed in all of those factors. Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest delves into these factors regarding love and marriage. Wilde stresses the importance of social status and gender expectations as a key guideline for a successful marriage. For Wilde, social status is defined as birth, wealth, and power. On the other hand, Wilde explores how social relationships can influence the compatibility of marriage between individuals. Both of these factors acts as an obstacle for Jack as he seeks approval to marry Gwendolen Fairfax. Oscar Wilde demonstrates the importance of social relationships and the social status as the determining factors for the compatibility of marriage and love during the Victorian era. The Victorians valued one’s social status as it was seen at the utmost importance when it comes to marriage. If there are two dominating factor that follows a social status it is wealth and power. This is prevalent in the conversation between Jack and Lady Bracknell [Gwendolen’s mother], as Jack attempts to seek approval for his proposal to Gwendolen. Lady Bracknell questions Jack’s about his yearly income and the land that he owns: “Lady Bracknell. ‘What is your income?’ Jack. ‘Between seven and eight thousand a
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