The Importance Of Being Earnest Social Class Analysis

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Oscar Wilde implements a heavy focusses significant attention on class in The Importance of Being Earnest. People with and without money behave very differently, though strive for the same response and impressions from their peers. The characters in this novel are exaggerated to the point of absurdity when it comes to their obsession with class. Victorian upper class demands its members to keep up an important image in society and value money and appearance above all else, including people. Wilde satirizes the motivations of these characters and uses their values to question the ideals of the upper class members in a Victorian society. Serious things such as marriage and love are made trivial, and trivial things such as names and food are made serious. This switch reduces the characters to an absurdity that makes the readers question the motivations and values of the characters, and the individuals living at this time. Wilde focuses on exposing the differences between how the upper and lower class act. Members of the upper class express immense pride and obsession with maintaining their status in society, while members of the lower class are much more humble and less uptight. Wilde satirizes the arrogance and hypocrisy of the upper class and displays how the aristocratic groups tend to value appearance more than substance, or reality. Wilde parodies his characters’ obsessions with maintaining an aristocratic …show more content…
The portrayal of these characters shape aspects of human life in a very romantic way. This characterization of romanticism emphasizes the contemporary relevance of The Importance of Being Earnest. Reason is not discarded, but replaced with satire in order to expose truths in the exaggeration of the characters. The exaggerations of the upper class victorian values demand for the readers to question their motivations and come to a conclusion about the victorian social

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