Not Being Earnest in The Importance of Being Earnest Essay examples

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Not Being Earnest in The Importance of Being Earnest  While some critics contend that The Importance of Being Earnest is completely fanciful and has no relation to the real world, others maintain that Oscar Wilde's "trivial comedy for serious people" does make significant comments about social class and the institution of marriage.  These observations include the prevalent utilization of deceit in everyday affairs.  Indeed the characters and plot of the play appear to be entirely irreverent, thus lending weight to the comedic, fanciful aspect.  However, this same factor also serves to illuminate the major points that Wilde tries to convey about the English society in which he lived.  …show more content…
Wilde's conception of deceit as an accepted custom in English aristocracy is also existent in this scene.  The practice of "Bunburying" is established, an act where each man lies to his family about an imaginary invalid friend present somewhere else, in an attempt to pursue leisure activities elsewhere.  It is in this discussion that Jack admits to his friend Algernon that he has been lying to his friend in order to maintain the disguise.  Thus, it seems as though the very relationship between the two men is founded on deceit.  Later in this act, Lady Bracknell and Gwendolyn are introduced.  Even though Lady Bracknell is married, it is obvious that the two women are merely female counterparts of Algy and Jack.  Both spend the day making visits to others in their social sphere, as Algy and Jack do, holding these visits with utmost importance.    It is at this point, also, that the reader is presented with Wilde's views of marriage practices.  Earlier in the scene, when Ernest(Jack) announces his intention of proposing to Gwendolyn, Algernon does not congratulate him, rather he denounces the entire institution.  At Ernest's announcement of the proposal, Algy exclaims, "I thought you had come up for pleasure?- I call that business".  Later, Algy's comments support the idea of adultery once one is married.  When Ernest finally does propose to Gwendolyn, he first must proceed through established flirting rituals

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