The Importance of Being Earnest

Topics: Sociology, Working class, The Importance of Being Earnest Pages: 3 (785 words) Published: October 22, 2012
The Importance of Being Earnest
Social class and public reputation are two of the most common things that influence a person in their decision making. In “The Importance of Being Earnest”, Oscar Wilde mocks a society for their reasons of choosing who to marry. Oscar Wilde expresses an ironic and satiric perspective on a society that builds a marriage upon a foundation of money, power, and deceit.

The play “The Importance of Being Earnest,” is one of the most perfect examples of satire in our culture. Although it is set in England, it makes fun of the upper class. The play uses dramatic irony to show how Oscar Wilde sees the upper class as too formal and snobbish. It is dramatic irony because the characters in the play obviously think that they are high class with their multiple houses and butlers even though the author thinks that the upper class is too snobbish. The play also uses hyperbole to make its point. Every character in it is exaggerated. The characters Jack and Algernon are both willing to change their names to Earnest just because the women they love say that they will only love a man named Earnest. This is an example of how much emphasis Wilde believes that society places on love and how important it is to us. In they play, Wealth is a desirable aspect in life that many people crave. Many people will venture to extreme limits to acquire riches. In “The Importance of Being Earnest”, prosperity is wanted so much that woman will consider wealth as their rationale to get married. In the book, when Jack Worthing proposed to Gwendolen Fairfax, Gwendolen’s mother refused to let her marry him. Her reasoning was since Jack didn’t know who his parents were; he would not receive an inheritance. Lady Bracknell refused to let her daughter marry someone who was not exceptionally wealthy. In this society, a person who descends from wealth is forbidden to marry someone from a lower class. It is considered disrespectful towards the family and it would...
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