Marriage In Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Ernest

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In Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest, we can easily figure out that marriage is an important theme that ironically criticizes the Victorian society, especially the Victorian moral values and social values. It will be difficult for us to define those marriages are derived from “business” or “pleasure” throughout this play. As long as we can find out the meaning lying behind, the problem will be easily solved. This essay is going to justify whether each of those selected marriages from the play can be categorized as a marriage for business or pleasure.
Tracing back to Victorian period, the aristocrats were all well-educated and they wanted to develop their own economic power through the marriage to the one from middle class. Meanwhile, since people from middle class had no “titles” at all, they wanted to obtain the titles by engaging or marrying the upper classes. As these adopted lines shown: Lady Bracknell … you are not engaged to anyone. When you do become engaged to someone, I, or your father … will inform you the fact …It is hardly a matter that she could be allowed to arrange herself… (I.382-6)
These lines shown to us that Lady Bracknell, who was portrayed as a representative of the aristocrat, did not accept the engagement between Gwendolen and Jack. Lady Bracknell asked Mr. Worthing a few questions to get familiar with his cultural backgrounds, social status, and political views because she thought that Jack did not fulfill her criteria at all – those criteria
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