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Satirical Comments In The Importance Of Being Earnest By Oscar Wilde

1160 words - 5 pages

The class system during the Victorian Period played a significant role on people’s lives. The class a person belonged to played an important role in that individual’s future. In Victorian England, class diversity and class placement either hindered or enhanced people’s lives. One work of literature that comments on class distinctions in Victorian England is “The Importance of Being Earnest”, by Oscar Wilde. In “The Importance of Being Earnest”, Wilde expresses the concern with the Victorian people endeavoring to maintain an upper class reputation--while hiding the reality of their lives.
The Victorian class system had an influential role on peoples lives. The Victorian class system was ...view middle of the document...

This is shown clearly through the characters illustrated in “The Important of Being Earnest.”
Oscar Wilde expresses his concern of people trying to maintain an upper class reputation through the characters of the play “The Importance of Being Earnest.” During the Victorian Period members of the upper class displayed pride, and felt that they were entitled to their wealth and status and also believed it is only appropriate to marry within their social class. Wilde’s concern with people trying to maintain an upper class reputation is shown through Lady Bracknell. In the play Lady Bracknell says
Consider the following...
“Lady Bracknell: As a matter of form, Mr. Worthing, I had better ask you if Miss Cardew has any little fortune?
 Jack: Oh! about a hundred and thirty thousand pounds in the Funds. That is all. Goodbye, Lady Bracknell. So pleased to have seen you.
 Lady Bracknell: A moment, Mr. Worthing. A hundred and thirty thousand pounds! And in the Funds! Miss Cardew seems to me a most attractive young lady, now that I look at her.”(Wilde 47)
In this quote there is a big indication that Lady Bracknell only now, coincidently thinks that Cecily is an extremely attractive young lady because she has this huge amount of money. Before Lady Bracknell complimented Cecily, she was insulting Cecily ever since she met her. Now that Lady Bracknell has acquired the information that Cecily is rich, she thinks she is a perfect fit for Algernon. Wilde uses Lady Bracknell’s changing opinion on Cecily to show that Victorian people’s minds can be changed when they find out a specific person has a lot of money. Wilde shows us that Lady Bracknell is trying to keep an upper class reputation by trying to marry Algernon and Cecily. Oscar Wilde shows his concern for Victorian society through Lady Bracknell’s changing thoughts.
Oscar Wilde shows concern for the Victorian people through “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Wilde’s concern with Victorian society trying to maintain an upper class reputation is
seen through a piece of dialogue between Cecily Cardew and Gwendolyn. In the play they say
Consider the following...
“Cecily: May I offer you some tea, Miss Fairfax?
Gwendolen: Thank you. Detestable girl! But I require tea!
Cecily: Sugar?
Gwendolen: No, thank you. Sugar is not fashionable any more.
Cecily: Cake or bread and butter?
Gwendolen: Bread and butter,...

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