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Social Class In Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest

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Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest (.1993.) is an enlightening epitome of social class in the Victorian era. The satire is driven by the frivolous behaviour, superficial lives and artificial norms within the Victorian aristocracy. Incorporating his own opinion into the play, Wilde continually attacked and mocked their hypocrisy, views on marriage, and their mannerisms. Throughout the play, Wilde used an abundant range of literary techniques to reinforce his opinion. Irony, paradox and hyperboles, as well as witty epigrams and aphorisms were used astutely and were ubiquitous throughout the play. This contributed to the satirical style and tone of the text, and enabled Wilde to effectively communicate his critical perspective on social class in Victorian England.

Wilde uses a deceptively flippant tone and irony to criticize the hypocrisy of the upper class in Victorian society in relation to living an earnest life. Earnestness as a virtue was of paramount importance during Victorian Society, with people constantly striving to live an earnest life, that is, a life of honesty and seriousness in intention and purpose. The Victorian society was passionately obsessed with the ideals of earnestness, that individuals in the upper middle class were pressured to go to any lengths to lead such a life, even if it meant a difference between what they said, how they acted in public and what they honestly thought. "My dear fellow, the truth isn't quite the sort of thing
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