The Importance Of Being Earnest By Oscar Wilde

1674 WordsDec 30, 20157 Pages
An example of literature that reflects the queer phenomenon publically is presented in Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest”. Besides the scenes where Algernon is shown eating muffins and cucumbers, to represent his inability to make a decision between men and women, there is an underlying theme of secrets and things that are kept hidden. The concept of bunburying was used as a coping method to deal with the pressure of societal standards. In order to save face and not look bad, lying is preferable, during this time morality was placed below social standards. In contrast to people hiding their preferred sexuality or gayness, they hide it and stay in the closet. Similarly with Algernon and Jack, they hide themselves because society has placed a standard that they can’t follow. An example of this can be found in “Angels in America”, concerning the Mormon couple, he is gay yet he hides it from the world. Because that is not accepted and he fears the reactions, so he does his best to fit into society by getting married. Algernon and Jack maintain their lies by bunburying and they avoid social responsibilities. The play is comically pleasing, yet at the same time, there is emotional turmoil and discomfort in expected social behavior. According to the socially accepted rules during that time, men were with women. In recent years, society’s rules have become more forgiving, yet there are still zones of unacceptance. The social roles that Oscar Wilde pokes
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