The Importance Of Being Earnest Feminist Analysis

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Feminist Perspective As seen in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, men and women live in a society of inequality as conveyed through double standards. For instance, Wilde conveys a double standard regarding men and women flirting as seen when Algernon says “She will place me next to Mary Farquhar, who always flirts with her own husband across the dinner-table. That is not very pleasant.” While society shames women for talking to men whom they are married to, society seems to praise men such as Jack and Algernon when they become engaged and become engaged by flirting, as Algernon does with Cecily. Relationships serve as another double standard shown in the play. In Act 1 of the play, Jack and Algernon discuss Gwendolen refusing Jack’s proposal in which Algernon says “She is always refusing people. I think it is most ill-natured of her.” Why does society deem it unacceptable for women to refuse proposals, yet frown…show more content…
For instance, lies and deceitful behavior serve as the primary themes in the play. In Wilde’s play, Jack leads his peers to believe that he has a brother, Ernest, when Jack actually refers to himself as “Ernest in the town and Jack in the country”. Algernon also demonstrates lying and deceiving others. Algernon leads his peers to believe he has a friend, Bunbury, an invalid that he frequently visits when in all actuality, Bunbury does not exist, and only serves as the lie Algernon uses to get out of dinner plans. Jack thinks of ways to get rid of the lie he created by telling people that Ernest died of a “severe chill”, however, his lie becomes exposed when Algernon disguises himself as Ernest and proposes to Cecily and Jack is using the name Ernest to propose to Gwendolen, leading both women to believe they got engaged to the same man. Wilde’s word choice and plot leads the reader to discover that lies catch up to those who tell
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