The Importance Of Being Earnest Oscar Wilde Essay

1036 Words Aug 28th, 2016 null Page
In The Importance of Being Earnest Oscar Wilde satirizes the emphasis that his contemporaries place on social class when considering marriage, while simultaneously expressing his belief that love and one’s character, which were considered trivial during that time period, should be emphasized. By contrasting the opinion that marriage is necessary in order to maintain one’s social status with the opinion that marriage is a social responsibility and a mark of honor as well as the opinion that a marriage should be based on love and one’s character, Wilde effectively manages to satirize his contemporaries and reveal his message. One prevalent opinion of marriage during this time period was that it was a means of elevating one’s social status, an opinion which Wilde satirizes through the character of Lady Bracknell. When Lady Bracknell discovers that Jack and Gwendolen are engaged, she tells Gwendolen, “[w]hen you do become engaged to some one, I, or your father...will inform you of the fact. An engagement should come on a young girl as a surprise, pleasant or unpleasant, as the case may be. It is hardly a matter that she could be allowed to arrange for herself” (23). This statement reveals Lady Bracknell’s opinion that a young woman should have her own engagement thrust upon her in order to maintain her social status and keep her desires separate. This opinion is further satirized when it is revealed that Jack was adopted after he was found at a train station in a handbag. “To…

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