The character of Algernon is clearly complex in nature, if one can get past all of the apparent superficialities. Despite this, Algernon's significance most notably lays in the fact that his idea of bunburying can be seen as a deeper metaphor for Wilde's own double
They are presented to within a high class of society, with a lack of consideration or care for the lower classes. Both are bored by their high society lives and “stiff” lunches/meetings that they must attend, so have created alter egos which they use to have fun in a different place. Algernon has invented a sick friend called Bunbury, who he sometimes must spend long lengths of time “looking after”, and when in the country, Jack becomes Ernest.
Algernon is demonstrated as a comical character. He is also shown to be a liar and this is seen when he tells Lady Bracknell that there were “no cucumbers in the market” to make the cucumber sandwiches; when he ate them all. He is also very open with women and engages is physical contact before permission from Cecily’s guardian, Jack. Algernon also meets Cecily in a wrong manner as he runs off to Jack’s country house uninvited; which isn’t reflective of an Ideal Victorian man at all.
Oscar Wilde's, "The Importance of Being Earnest" revolves around the dichotomy of the true definition of honesty versus the victorian definition of honesty. It is apparent that Wilde's opinion is that true honesty is expressed through being genuine to one's self as opposed to putting on a front as is important in victorian ideals. In this work, Wilde uses humor to off-set the seriousness of the theme of the story. One who has studied this work can also clearly see that Wilde is using sarcasm to say things that would not have been accepted by society if they were said bluntly. For example he exemplifies in a very sarcastic manner the hypocracy that victorian society represents by the very fact that they pretend to uphold honesty above all
In the play, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, there is a lot of humor that can be found. Specifically, developed behind the characters in this play that display many instances of irony and how important it was to fit into the “status quo” of this time period. There are specific behaviors from the characters of Lady Bracknell, Gwendolen, and Algernon that portray Wilde’s opinion of society during the Victorian Age. The attitude of these characters is snobbish and their manners display double standards and superiority. The play’s use of mockery and irony of these satirical situations is meant to publicly ridicule the self- loving attitude of the upper class while exposing their true absence of intelligence which causes their absurd social behaviors
A satire is a piece of work that is designed to ridicule or tease a group or organization, generally for the purpose of being humorous. “The Importance of Being Earnest,” a play by Oscar Wilde, is a satire, ridiculing class, gender, and marriage. This essay will describe some points from each of these sections, as well as give a brief synopsis of the play these examples come from.
What do all great authors, such as Oscar Wilde, do when they see something wrong in their culture? Simple: they show society how shortsighted it truly is by ridiculing its beliefs. It would be impossible to simply mock the beliefs of an entire culture without being labeled as crazy or an outcast, so they ridicule the culture indiscreetly. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde is a classic example of a highly esteemed work that uses satire to jeer at the cultural norms of the Victorian Era. The Importance of Being Earnest mocks the resolute mind-sets, the aloofness of marriage, and the class-system with satire during the Victorian Era.
Characters use a light hearted banter even as the issues they deal with are heavy- Algernon accuses Lane of pilfering through a light rhetorical banter – ‘Why is it that at a bachelor’s establishment the servants invariably drink the champagne?’ The soliloquy is used to deliver profound thoughts like where Algernon claims rights for
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, premiered in London in 1895 when Wilde was in the peak of his career. During this time of the Victorian Era, society was very moral and chaste, at least on the surface. There was a very specific code of behavior that governed almost everything, but focused mainly on the topic of marriage. This affected Wilde first-hand as he was married to a woman but also involved with men which was forbidden at the time. Using the themes of dualism and marriage, Wilde is trying to show the audience the ridiculous nature of Victorian society. Through the reoccurring theme of dualism, Oscar Wilde uses sizable amounts of satire to not only mock the trivial Victorian society, but more specifically to ridicule
A satire is a genre of literature that uses humour, irony, and/or exaggeration to criticize or show a character’s stupidity or vices. In this case, the literature is a play by Oscar Wilde. The Importance of Being Earnest is a comedic, satirical play that shows ridicule and mockery of the characters through the use of repetitions and parallels to ultimately show the real meaning of being earnest. Wilde’s play is a satirical play because two important characters named Algernon and Jack are living double lives under the same identity. The two characters live double lives in order to escape from reality and live life with no responsibilities. Although, in the end the two characters are caught and live more fulfilling lives under their christian names. This act of living a double life is a repetition presented throughout the play. Another action that is in the play which is linked to parallels, is Gwendolen and Cecily. Gwendolen and Cecily are parallels in that they say similar lines throughout the play and they both will only fall in love with a man named Ernest. The last idea that is linked with repetition is the marriage between Algernon and Cecily and the marriage between Jack and Gwendolen. Wilde’s play is a satisfactory example of a satire because of the irony, repetitions, and foils of each character.
With the definition of a satire being, ‘the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity’, it is ludicrous to even propose that The Importance of Being Earnest is anything other than a satirical play, as the characters relishing in the upper class of the Victorian period unknowingly mock their own habits acquired to them due to the luxury they are spoilt with. Despite this, it is evident that the use of satire is feckless and lacks a moral point of view, in contrast with the moral
The characters in this play are definitely delivered to the reader as stock characters. Algernon is the ‘dandy’ of the play. He is educated, fashionable, and misogynistic toward the likes of conventional male duties. Jack, also a dandy, is much like Algernon. He is also well educated, rich, and a bit eccentric. His views are parallel with Algernon’s. This adds to the notion that Wilde’s idea that society bears the faults rather than the individuals.
During the Victorian Age, The Victorian upper class society judged things through appearance and many laughed at those morals by turning them upside-down through a language, which is satirical, funny and witty. Oscar Wilde was an author during the time that displayed humor into his writing. In “ The Importance of Being Earnest”, Wilde created ridiculous situations and characters whose lack of understanding which cause them to react to things inappropriately. Different characters in the play embody those values and provide us insight into the upper-class society of the Victorian period. The play is centered on the idea of identity, love, marriage and money. Many of the characters’ statements, especially Algernon’s, are humorous because they
In Wilde Importance of being Earnest in the first scene there was humor in there. Algernon was stuffing his face. Wilde likes to make fun of all Victorians from the upper classes. He make fun of their class values, makes refers to men liking men, and he even uses landmarks that are familiar to the upper classes. Jack and Algernon have a double life or living life through masks. We know Algernon is from the upper classes. People think self-gratification can be a powerful tool against the Victorian values of duty/virtue (Summary and Analysis Act I: Part 1). Whenever they talk about food, they refer to lust. They will never talk about it in polite society.
Algernon had also followed in his Bunbury friend’s ways. He took a false name of earnest as well. Instead of going to the city, he went to the completely other side and went into the village where he met the love of his life, Cecily. Algernon had secretly known that Cecily had liked the name of Earnest, owned by Jack’s fictional brother, so he introduced himself as the fictitious brother of Jack.