The Importance of Being Ernest

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THE IMPORTANCE OF B EING ERNEST

Oscar Wilde's satire, The Importance of Being Earnest, targets society from the Victorian era. Wilde uses his characters and Tragic Comedy to satirize Victorian society. Wilde's Jack and Algernon reveal this idea in his play.

Wilde uses tragic comedy in his satire. The main plot of the story is that Jack needs to find his parents in order to marry Gwendolyn. Jack however has been living another life in the country as Uncle Jack to his adopted father's granddaughter (Cecily). Jacks plans are interrupted when he tells his friend Algernon about his city and country lives. The story begins with a serious tone, Jack wanting to marry Gwendolyn and searching for his parents. This play is a tragic comedy because there is a great chance that it will end in a catastrophe. Algernon has taken interest in Jack's ward Cecily. He wants to get to know her so he pretends to be Uncle Jack's brother Ernest. Algernon shows up at Cecily's house before Jack gets there. The confusion starts when Jack decides that he will tell her that his made up brother "Ernest" has died. He tells her this after Algernon has already introduced himself as Jack's brother Ernest. The foreshadowing for catastrophe continues when Gwendolyn decides to go visit "Ernest" in the country where he is known as Jack. She arrives at Cecily's house and starts talking to Cecily. Both girls are in love with men who they believe to be named "Ernest" but are not. The story ends happily for the main character Jack. He finds out that his mother is really Algernon's father when lady Bracknell comes to the country to get her daughter Gwendolyn. Miss Prim lost Jack twenty-six years ago when she left him in a black handbag. Jack also discovers that he hasn't been lying all along. His birth name was Ernest and he did have a younger brother (Algernon.) Lady Bracknell gives consent to his engagement to Gwendolyn in order for Algernon to receive consent from Jack to marry Cecily. The setting...
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