The Importance Of Being Earnest By Oscar Wilde

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One of the most famous quotes from Oscar Wilde’s play, The Importance of Being Earnest is in the final act where Gwendolen and Cecily are discussing what they should do with Jack and Algernon. She claims that, “in matter of grave importance, style, not sincerity is the vital thing” (III, 19). This is the epitome of the story because it truly encompasses Wilde’s thoughts on Victorian life and society. Throughout the play, there are numerous instances where you can see that majority, if not all of, the characters believe this ideal of style of substance. This commentary on the Victorian Era and the extremities of controlling behaviors and personalities can also be related to today’s culture and the representation of humans on different social media platforms. Along with the most obvious example of Gwendolen specifically saying that style was more important, there is are numerous times where Lady Bracknell alone illustrates this point perfectly. When first talking to Jack, after he proposed to Gwendolen, Lady Bracknell goes off a mental checklist to find everything she can about this man from a surface level standpoint, asking about money, homes, parents and lineage. She is satisfied with most of his answers up until the point where he admits that he has lost both parents. She replies, “To lose one parent may be regarded as misfortune--to lose both seems like carelessness” (I, 201). This rude comment regarding parents, shows that emotions do not matter, because they
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