Behaviour of social classes
The importance of being earnest is a trivial comedy by Oscar Wilde. The main purpose of this analysis paper is arguing on the topic of class system. This essay summarizes three scholar articles ‘A revolutionary outrage: The importance of being earnest as social criticism’ by Jeremy Lalonde, ‘Realizing personality in the importance of being earnest’ by Sarah Balkin and ‘Bunbury pure and simple’ by W. Craven Mackie. This paper outlines the distinction between upper and lower categories through the behavior and expressions of characters that signify within the importance of being earnest. The play is a comedy of manners satirizing the perspective and behavior of the higher categories through their attitude of living. According to my point of view social rank, wedding and money are necessary part of living within the society as individual can achieve happiness to a specific degree by victimization those in a right manner. Throughout the play Oscar Wilde uses humorous dialogues to mock the hypocrisy of society. The plot depends round the wishes of two young men to marry two young upper class ladies, who want solely to marry men named “Ernest”. Their social status creates issues in their marriage, however in the end of the play all characters attain happier life.
“Ernest” the title of the play that means sincere and seriousness. Gazete is saying that, we must always treat all trivial things in life terribly seriously. Jeremy in his article “A revolutionary outrage: The importance of being earnest as social criticism” is talking about sexuality and marriage in which i am agree with the author. Effeminacy and Feminism in his paper. According to him “Earnest” is a homosexual person and author representing Masculinities which are surrounding around the “Earnest”. The main characters of the play Gwendolen and Cecily are young women who loves Jack and Algernon just because they suppose their name is earnest. This clearly shows that they do not have any emotional love and attraction towards them, they only attract towards their name “Earnest”. It creates large distinction of their social classes, but this love can be reason of their happiness. In one of those article author is talking about another hidden personality, “Bunbury”. Wilde creates this name after lot of research. Mackie describes its history as it can be impressive part of the play. “Bunbury” don’t have any personality or status. This name is uses for an example of a person who ignores social responsibilities. Mackie says that Wilde choose that name after many research and finally defines that “Bunbury” means illness. So i think these names appropriate with their personality.
The rules conduct that developed throughout the Victorian time has powerful influence on one’s social standard, motivating individuals to behave in a socially acceptable way in public. I agree with this because one’s personality can judge by individiuals’s behaviour, way of talking, way of standing and physical movements. Other characters such as lady bracknell, Gwendolen Fairfax and Algernon seems a part of higher society in the Victorian era through their names and physical appearance. Members of upper class displays an excellent deal of pride and pretense. For them, appearance is everything and style is much more important. In act 2, within the book of the importance of being earnest there is an tea ceremony which shows that manners and appearance are everything. Balkin in his paper describes that their voices, actions, dialogues, tones are best picture of their upper class status. Audience found that, they are terribly focuses on how one behaves in public.
Jack (Earnest Worthing) seems to be a trustworthy man. He does not know his identity, he was found in a handbag. May be that is the reason that he seems to be a humble man. The main difference of their standards can often show through their residential places. Lady Bracknell, Gwendolen Fairfax and Algernon lives in London whereas Cecily, Jack Miss Prism belongs to countryside. In the play Gwendolen tells Cecily about her personal diary that she keeps it always with her. Several characters in the play draws a line between outer life of appearance and inner life of rebellion against the social code.
Talking about marriage, In the Victorian era, it is very important to marry within own class and acquire some wealth through marriage. For example, as a mother Lady Bracknell is worrying regarding Gwendolen’s life, her marriage. She wants to marry her daughter in upper class family, so she rejects the marriage proposal of Jack for her daughter. In “Revolutionary outrage: The importance of being earnest as social criticism’, Lolende is agree and explains the thinking of Lady Bracknell.It is common that everyone wants to provide their children peaceful and good life. Thinking or thoughts of lower classes and upper classes are distinct in many ways. For rich people money is everything. Wilde suggesting that love and marriage do not necessary go together. In contrast, before marriage and every relation, one looks person’s background, history, job etc because it is very important for the future. Marriage consideration among the upper class people are focuses on issues such as wealth and social status instead of romantic love. For example, lady bracknell pumple jack with lot of questions about parents, fortune, family, expectations, address. She means jack’s house is an “unfashionable” because it is on the side of the street, author describe lady bracknell’s character as a chameleon who changes her decision after knowing that ceicly is rich and she has a hundred and thirty pounds.
In conclusion, according to this play everything is relating with name and fame. Even today in some era it is very important to marry in the same social class to maintain living standard but on the other side love can create problems and make things complicated. In some developing area people think emotionally, not socialy.It is clear that conception of personality and identity will expertise by individual’s characters. It is not bad to run after luxuries life as the main characters think that they can get their love if they have social status.
Wilde, Oscar. The Importance of being earnest and other plays. Signet Classics,2012.
Balkin, Sarah. “Realizing Personality in The Importance of Being Earnest.” Modern Drama, vol. 59, no. 1, 2016, pp