Importance of Being Earnest

Topics: Victorian era, Morality, Victoria of the United Kingdom Pages: 4 (1366 words) Published: March 10, 2013
Literature critical reading

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, A TRIVIAL COMEDY FOR SERIOUS PEOPLE by the Irish writer and poet Oscar Wilde, is a comedy about the customs and seriousness of society around Victorian values of that time. THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST is an excellent example of what a satire is, by the use of satirical devices such as irony, sarcasm and farce to show the society in a ridiculous way. In the play, Wilde often satirizes the Victorian society and all the rules that weren’t followed, criticizing the thinking of the upper classes of seeing themselves as the father in all the United Kingdom family society. Wilde decided to judge Victorian society because their values represented injustice, oppression and Oscar Wilde wanted to be unattached or free of these repressive values. He satirizes and criticizes the Victorian society in the play, carrying out a superficial conduct, which each separate character demonstrates in several Victorian conventional topics, such as marriage morality and appearance.

Oscar Wilde lived in the Victorian era, which was governed by principles of a discrete and an orderly life with a great political conservatism. This political conservatism included a series of ideals which were quite the contrary ideas of a revolutionary, rebellious and critical person as Oscar Wilde was. In the play all the Victorian values are show against, demonstrating upper classes as models of exemplary attitude and correct manner, when they really acted in a wrong way. For example the play makes us think that marriage is deeply satisfying and that being earnest is a moral attitude which will conduce to happiness. When marriage actually was a business deal and being earnest wasn’t a way of conducing to happiness, was a manner of living in falsity with a double moral.

In this way, Oscar Wilde decided to show Jack Worthing as the principal character of the upper class. In this character Wilde had the opportunity to explore the...
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