The Importance Of Being Earnest And Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

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One’s personal identity what either allows or inhibits one from interacting with society in its entirety. However, the societal class in which a character was born, or thrust, into is of as much importance, if not more, as a character’s personal sense of self. Both Oscar Wilde’s, “The Importance of Being Earnest” and Robert Louis Stevenson’s, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” develop themes around the central ideology of self-identity versus how an entire society views the individual. “The Importance of Being Earnest” is a sharp, satirical play that quickly and effectively points out the flaws and hypocrisy of the wealthy upper class as the focus remains largely on how society views and, therefore, forms opinions of the individual. The Victorian Age serves as a shining example of society’s upper class and their infatuation with themselves. It can be noted that in the play, the characters that belong to the lower-class, such as Lane offer the same wit and sharpness that the high-society characters do, therefore subtly suggesting that the two classes are not such polar opposites. Each of the upper-class characters state clearly what they are thinking, a right they believe they have inherited along with their wealth as they …show more content…
Whereas Stevenson suggests that inside each individual are the two warring sides of society: the base, primal nature of humanity reflected in the lower class—the “bad”—and the composed, but oftentimes a mask of high society—“the good”. Just as Wilde uses satire to draw attention to the sameness of both classes, Robert Louis Stevenson uses a sinister approach as he portrays a eventual madman who tried to become both sides of himself fully as he sought to fully realize his personal

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