Comparing the Roles of Women in Arcadia, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Look Back in Anger

1830 Words8 Pages
Comparing the Roles of Women in Arcadia, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Look Back in Anger In Arcadia, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Look Back in Anger, the women characters play distinct roles in the dramas. However, the type of roles, the type of characters portrayed, and the purpose the women’s roles have in developing the plot and themes vary in each play. As demonstrated by The Importance of Being Earnest and Look Back in Anger, the majority of women’s roles ultimately reflect that women in British society were viewed to be unequal to men in love and in relationships and generally the weaker sex, emotionally, physically and intellectually. However, I have found an exception to this standard in the play…show more content…
Similarly, Cecily has become fascinated with this man Ernest, having heard stories from her guardian, Jack. She also tells Algernon (Ernest) that she could only marry a man named Ernest! Again, this young woman is basing her love of a man on a name. Wilde wants to show that people in this society accept identities which often contrast with reality, but to do so he exposes the women characters to ridicule. When the women discover that the men have lied to them about their identities, they turn against them. However, Gwendolen and Cecily are quick to reconcile with the men because Algernon and Jack tell them of their intention to be christened with the name Ernest. Both of these women’s obsession with faith in a name exemplifies their lack of rational thinking and intelligence. This weakness is magnified by the men who intelligently and deviously change their names to win over the women. Even though Wilde also pokes fun at the men, the roles of Gwendolen and Cecily portray women to be less rational than men and generally the weaker sex in dealing with serious issues like truth and marriage. Look Back in Anger, by John Osborne, is a dark and violent play vividly presenting women as the weaker sex, especially emotionally and physically, through the abusive marriage of Jimmy and Alison. Alison tells her friend Helena of her physical and emotional weakness towards Jimmy from their first acquaintance.

    More about Comparing the Roles of Women in Arcadia, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Look Back in Anger

      Open Document