Characterization in the Importance of Being Earnest Essay

989 Words Apr 3rd, 2011 4 Pages
Literary Analysis
Sonja Jankovic, group B

Characterization in The Importance of Being Earnest

Among Oscar Wilde’s varied works, a prominent place has been assumed by a notoriously humorous play The Importance of Being Earnest. Such has been the play’s popularity to this day that countless efforts have been retaken so as to adapting it for modern age due to its scintillating language and the author’s surpassing skill at creating immortal characters. In the attempt to spell out the importance of characterization we shall look at how Oscar Wilde carefully masters each marionette of his imagination for purposes of scornful, and yet irresistibly entartaining satire of Victorian society. To unveil the secret behind the charm of
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He chooses Lady Bracknell, the embodiment of Victorian aristocratic manners and notions, to condemn the society’s superficial inclination towards collecting wealth and acquiring status. Lady Bracknell fails to see how lovely Cecily is untill she finds out about her financial background:
˝ 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. Few girls of the present day have any really solid qualities, any of the qualities that last, and improve with time. We live, I regret to say, in an age of surfaces.˝ [1]
The material quality is the only cumulative of the sort, which automatically makes it the most desirable one. Algernon, on the other hand, reflects the bohemian and hedonistic spirit of Wilde’s self-chosen literary movement of aestheticism. He is frivolous in his actions, but he never oversteps the boundaries of civil Victorian manners. Algy establishes bunburying as the natural law of every man in view of many life-imposed obstacles in enjoying yourself, such as marriage :
˝ A man who marries without knowing Bunbury has a very tedious time of it.˝[2]
˝…in married life three is company and two is none.˝[3]

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