The Importance Of Being Earnest By Jack Worthing Essay examples

2400 Words Oct 24th, 2016 10 Pages
In the last line of Oscar Wilde’s comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest, Jack Worthing exclaims: “I’ve now realized for the first time in my life the vital importance of being earnest” (Wilde III). This line perfectly sums up the irony present throughout Wilde’s entire play. The characters within are revealed to be superficial and adamant about conforming to society’s standards. Although it may not be obvious at first, Wilde’s attempt to live as a homosexual during the Victorian period parallels the lies and fabrications created by Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff. Inspired by his controversial experience as a homosexual man in the Victoria era, Wilde uses ironic dialogue between characters, situational irony, and the theme of deceit in The Importance of Being Earnest to satirize the norms of society.
In this play, Jack Worthing leads a double life, and his friend Algernon takes advantage of that to meet Jack’s ward, Cecily. When Jack reveals his reasons for lying he says: “in order to get up to town I have always pretended to have a younger brother of the name Ernest, who lives in the Albany, and gets into the most dreadful scrapes” (Wilde I). Algernon justifies his and Jack’s habits of sneaking around under the radar of society. He says to Jack: “you have invented a very useful younger brother called Ernest, in order that you may be able to come up to town as often as you like. I have invented an invaluable permanent invalid called Bunbury, in order that I…

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