The Importance Of Being Earnest

1041 WordsDec 28, 20175 Pages
Feminist Perspective As seen in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, men and women live in a society of inequality between the two sexes as conveyed through double standards. For instance, there is a double standard regarding men and women flirting as seen when Algernon says “She will place me next to Mary Farquhar, who always flirts with her own husband across the dinner-table. That is not very pleasant.” While women are shamed for talking to men whom they are married to, men such as Jack and Algernon are praised when they become engaged and become engaged by flirting, as Algernon does with Cecily. Another double standard shown in the play is relationships or likenesses to one’s parents. In Act 1 of the play, Jack and…show more content…
In Wilde’s play, Jack leads his peers to believe that he has a brother, Ernest, when Jack is actually “Ernest in the town and Jack in the country”. Algernon also leads his peers to believe he has a friend, Bunbury, who is an invalid that he frequently visits when in all actuality, Bunbury is also not a person and he uses the lie to get out of dinner plans. Jack thinks of ways to get rid of the lie he created by telling people that Ernest died of a “severe chill”, however, his lie is exposed when Algernon is disguised as Ernest and proposes to Cecily and Jack is using the name Ernest to propose to Gwendolen, leading both women to believe they are engaged to the same man. Wilde’s word choice and plot leads the reader to discover that lies catch up to those who tell them. Constructive Perspective Oscar Wilde’s well-known play, The Importance of Being Earnest questions whether marriage is for pleasure or social conformity when marriage is in fact for pleasure. As shown throughout the play, Jack uses the lie that he has a brother named Ernest to act as he pleases when in town, which he does for pleasure. However, when he realizes he wants to propose to Gwendolen, he has the idea of lying about Ernest dying in order to be closer to Gwendolen and avoid lying for the rest of his life. Jack could have avoided being honest but he ended up telling the truth in the end because he wanted the pleasure of being married to Gwendolen. While some may argue that marriage
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