Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The Nature of Marriage Marriage is of paramount importance in The Importance of Being Earnest, both as a primary force motivating the plot and as a subject for philosophical speculation and debate. The question of the nature of marriage appears for the first time in the opening dialogue between Algernon and his butler, Lane, and from this point on the subject never disappears for very long.
By making a mockery of the Victorian ideals, Wilde threw a satirical spotlight on the Victorian age as a whole. The Victorian society fell in a passionate love with the idea of earnestness. The idea of living in an earnest manner was the topmost ideals of the Victorian society.
Earnestness was held as the virtue sublime in the Victorian society. Oscar Wilde The society was so attached to the fake ideals of earnestness that it was ready to pay any price for it. This frenzied and frantic thrust towards the ideals pressurized individuals to live a double life.
People became double dealers in an attempt to live life earnestly. The late nineteenth century British people gradually became hypocritical in their fashionable and faddish struggle to obtain the ideals of earnestness.
This line of rush for the earnest life made people compromise with anything.
Ugly, selfishness, unnecessary pride, false sense of self-worth and dangerous haughtiness developed as evils which corroded the simple charm and unspoiled nature of people.
The Victorian society was outwardly flowery. It was artificial and hollow within. The upper middle class haughty and arrogance nature is critiqued by Wilde. Lady Bracknell arrogantly dismisses Jack's proposal to Gwendolen.
Her haughty manner makes an appearance when she interrogates Jack whether he is really qualified to be her son in law or not. To the utter shame of the readers, she had kept all the bio-data and testimonials of those who dared to propose to Gwendolen, but proved unqualified suitors for her daughter.
It is really unbecoming of lady Bracknell to take such a complete control over her daughter's right to choose a suitable life friend.
This haughty trend available in the upper middle class people is critically exposed by Wilde in this play. In the play two characters are shown putting the virtue of earnestness on the pedestal. Jack Worthing and Algernon are those characters who are obsessed with the name earnestness.
Jack lives in a country house. He knows it clearly that modern Victorian lady in urban society falls quickly in love with a man named Earnest. But he had a country name Jack. So to arrest the love of an urban lady Jack took another fictitious name Earnest and went to London.
This kind of hypocritical life of Jack is an example of double life. Why Jack took the name Earnest? The answer is an urban lady loves only those whose names are Earnest. Because Victorian society permitted youths to lead a double life, Jack chose that name.
The faddish cult of living an earnest life was on the rise in the Victorian society. Therefore Jack engaged in the cult of Bunburying. With the name Earnest Jack went to town to meet his friend, Algernon. Gwendolen knew his name was Earnest. She fell in love with him on the spot.
What does the society get from those people who fall in love out of the magical, charm of name only? Jack, and Gwendolen alone are not accountable for the shallowness and artificiality that degrades the society.
It is the then Victorian society which made room for youths to run after a depthless and essence-less life. Her mad thirst for love based on the charming name earnest made Gwendolen's love substance-less. Jack's hypocritical style of living in town by the fictitious name earnest made him a double dealer.
Jack became liar in the process of living an earnest life.
He told his ward, Cecily that his brother named Earnest lives in town, he falls sick, so he has to visit him in town. In the same and a similar way, Algernon took a false name earnest, and went to the village to earn the love of Cecily. So Algernon went to meet her under the impression that he is Jack's brother.
Both man and woman became the victims of hypocrisy, and the vice of double dealing.Reach your academic happy place with access to thousands of textbook solutions written by subject matter experts. Oscar Wilde`s play, ``The Importance of Being Earnest`` mocks protocols, principles, marriage and the search for love in Victorian times.
It also makes fun of social . Literary Devices in The Importance of Being Earnest Oscar Wilde creates a comedic tone using puns, situational irony, dramatic irony, satire, and epigrams. Puns: A play on words so that a single word can have multiple meanings, puns not only reveal characters’ cleverness but also suggest Wilde’s own opinions on certain topics.
Oscar Wilde’s use of satire in The Importance of Being Earnest “Ignorance is like an exotic fruit ” writes Oscar Wilde as he sets the literary table with a rich display of Victorian satire (Wilde).
Analysis of The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivia Comedy for Serious People Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest is a satirical comedy, in which the characters create a double life to escape the burdens of the many social obligations imposed by late Victorian London society.
- Satire in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest The Importance of Being Earnest is a comedy of manners, whereby Oscar Wilde uses satire to ridicule marriage, love and the mentality of the Victorian aristocratic society.