Dr. Brian M. Peters
English BMF: Block B English for Arts Students
Date: 9 Mars, 2017
“The Importance Of Being Ernest”, reveals the meaning of monetary wealth, family and double identity during the Victorian era. On the other hand; the Victorian Society, demonstrates the negative perception of lower classes compared to the upper classes. Along with some similarities that the servants, “Lane and Merriman”, both shared in different classes. And the desire to be seen in the upper class to maintain an acceptable reputation among society. Therefore, Oscar Wilde demonstrates the importance of behaving as expected from society, and the importance of behaving as Ernest, having a double life, to be able to escape and survive.
The perceptions of the upper and lower classes during The Victorian Era, describes the civilization. The upper class was very concern about the reputation they demonstrated among themselves. The one with more money, married with an acceptable family lineage, and a wealthy house, was the one who could be seen as a role model. Unlike the lower class, they were recognized to have little wealth, small habitat, and most of them have small family lineage. As Algernon cited: “ Lane’s views on marriage seem somewhat lax. Really, if lower orders don’t set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them? They seem, as a class, to have absolutely no sense of moral responsibility.” (Wilde 1734). Algernon displays a view on the lower class as to be useless to their population. The upper class has already the privilege to live in wealth while the lower class struggles to maintain themselves. Moreover, the upper class would have felt shame for their family because they could not reach their standards.
The similarities that the servants, “Lane and Merriman”, both shared in different classes, reveals that being categorized into a lower position is just a social injustice. Lane and Merriman are two different persons but identical at the same time, the only difference is that they are both in different classes. Merriman is Jack's servant who is in the lower class, meanwhile Lane is Algernon's servant who remains in the high class but both are servants either way. They symbolize social injustice by demonstrating they can do the same job but one will have the privilege to assist the high class while the other will assist the lower class. As...