When it comes to the idea of marriage for her daughter and the education of her daughter’s future husband, no one has more unnecessary commentary than Lady Bracknell, who is the aunt of Algernon Moncrieff and a person of high standards in society. When Lady Bracknell finds out that her daughter Gwendolen Fairfax has arranged for her own engagement to Ernest, she balks at the indecency. “An engagement should come on a young girl as a surprise, pleasant or unpleasant, as the case may be.” (pg 44) This comes about as a set of assumptions about the nature and purpose of marriage. When Lady Bracknell then interviews Jack for his eligibility as Gwendolen’s husband, her questions reflect the conventional assumptions of Victorian respectability '' social position, income and character. She only thinks of marriage in the sense of making her standings higher in society and not about Gwendolen’s feelings in a marriage. One of Lady Bracknell’s questions for Jack is whether he knows everything or nothing. Jack... [continues]
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