Class Structure in “The Importance of Being Earnest”
The Importance of Being Earnest,” a play by Oscar Wilde, shows the importance of class structure in the Victorian Society. The plays main character is Earnest, a man who falls in love with Gwendolyn, a woman who was more well known than him. He tries to win her over, but her mother doesn’t give in at first, just because of his class. This created a conflict, which could have been avoided if their society wasn’t class oriented. So, in The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde, many conflicts were generated in the play that wouldn’t have been problems if they didn’t live in a class-oriented society.
Lady Bracknell, an older woman, showed what it was like to be someone of class in their society. She wanted her daughter, Gwendolyn, to marry someone of very high class. In order for Jack to marry Gwendolyn, Lady Bracknell had to ask Jack a series of questions, mostly about his class and financial state. He explains to Lady Bracknell that he has no politics. He considers himself a Liberal Unionist. Lady Bracknell finds his answer satisfactory because it means that he is a Tory, or a conservative. Jack's home in London is on the "unfashionable side" of Belgrave Square, so "that could easily be altered.” This interview creates a conflict, which would have been altered, if they didn’t live in a class-structured society. If they didn’t live in a class-structured society, Jack wouldn’t have to go through an interview with Gwendolyn’s mother, to see if he was a good fit for her. Therefore, this could have been avoided, if the classes didn’t play such an important role.
Ms. Prism seems to look down...