The Importance Of Being Earnest, By Oscar Wilde

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In the comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde, one of the main topics presented in the play is marriage and more specifically, whether it is pleasure or business. The five main characters in the play: Jack Worthing, Algernon Moncrieff, Lady Bracknell, Gwendolen Fairfax, and Cecily Cardew each have contrasting views and define love differently. The older generation’s outlook on marriage being mainly about an arrangement and social duty and the younger generations caring more about love and passion. Although there are some roadblocks, in the end, the two couples: Jack and Gwendolen and Algernon and Cecily both are engaged because of love. However, an ironic twist is that neither breaks the “societal rules” that Lady Bracknell …show more content…
In the beginning of the play, Lady Bracknell viewed marriage as a way to better oneself socially and Algernon mocks Jack’s viewpoint of marriage. The other three protagonists all were on the side of marriage being about love. At the end of the play, Algernon switches sides and starts to believe marriage is “pleasure” and not “business.” For example, even though Algernon describes marriage as “business”, he soon changes his mind once he falls in love with Cecily. He declares, “It is very romantic to be in love” which shows how, despite his attitude towards marriage, he does believe in true love (7). The author, Wilde, spends much of the play building up Algernon’s wall against love in order to show that his transformation supports the play favoring true love. Algernon is influenced by Lady Bracknell and he is able to switch his view of marriage so quickly because he never truly should have been on her side. Jack all along is very sincere about love and marriage. When Jack finally admits he created a false brother and asks for forgiveness, Gwendolen says, “I can. For I feel that you are sure to change” and this shows she has real feelings for Jack as well and it helps that his real name is in fact Ernest (58). Cecily dreams come true as she meets Algernon in real life and they continue to build off her fantasized relationship. These four characters all turn into romantics who fight for their

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