Satirical Comments in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

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The class system during the Victorian Period played a significant role on people’s lives. The class a person belonged to played an important role in that individual’s future. In Victorian England, class diversity and class placement either hindered or enhanced people’s lives. One work of literature that comments on class distinctions in Victorian England is “The Importance of Being Earnest”, by Oscar Wilde. In “The Importance of Being Earnest”, Wilde expresses the concern with the Victorian people endeavoring to maintain an upper class reputation--while hiding the reality of their lives. The Victorian class system had an influential role on peoples lives. The Victorian class system was stringent was a strict one. The class a person…show more content…
In the play they say Consider the following... “Cecily: May I offer you some tea, Miss Fairfax? Gwendolen: Thank you. Detestable girl! But I require tea! Cecily: Sugar? Gwendolen: No, thank you. Sugar is not fashionable any more. Cecily: Cake or bread and butter? Gwendolen: Bread and butter, please. Cake is rarely seen at the best houses nowadays. Cecily: Hand that to Miss Fairfax.”(Wilde 38) Wilde’s concern with Victorian’s people trying to maintain an upper class stature is seen clearly in this quote. Gwendolyn requests no sugar with her tea and just bread and butter. Her reasoning is that sugar is not the norm anymore and cake is not at the best of the houses anymore. Gwendolyn is letting society dictate what Gwendolyn is saying that all the things she offered aren’t for an “upper class” lady like herself. Usually a person chooses what they want by knowing which tastes better in their opinion. These choices are important to Gwendolyn, even though they shouldn’t, because Gwendolyn thinks doing and requesting these things will make her appear of higher social status. People like Gwendolyn think that to be apart of the upper class you need wealth and style which is short sighted. Wilde expresses the concern of people trying to maintain a higher social status through Gwendolyn and her reasoning on why she chooses what she wants. Oscar Wilde pokes fun at the concern with Victorian
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