The Importance Of Being Earnest The Female Characters Exercise Power Briefly

1289 Words Apr 26th, 2015 6 Pages
Throughout the Importance of Being Earnest the female characters exercise power briefly, although they also confirm too many female stereotypes – ultimately ensuring that the play upholds traditional gender stereotypes instead of challenging or changing them. This causes the women to become the pun of the jokes within the play rather than the creator. The private and public spheres are the two gendered spheres that have become a common practice to think of the social world divided into two. The private sphere is the stereotypically feminine world of household, family, and unpaid domestic labour, while the public sphere is the stereotypically masculine world of politics and paid employed. The men and the women both uphold to the gender spheres or invert them. For example Lady Bracknell is unlike a conventional woman as she is portrayed to have the role of her husband and therefore fits into the public sphere rather than the private sphere.
Both Cecily and Gwendolen within the play conform to their stereotypes and therefore become the butt of the jokes. Whilst Algernon and Cecily are talking, Algernon compares her to ‘a pink rose’ and Cecily replies with ‘I don’t think it can be right for you to talk to me like that.’ Algernon’s line about Cecily being ‘like a pink rose’ reveals that men flirt with women by praising their beauty. Although Cecily protests the propriety of Algernon’s comment, she secretly revels in it, as it can be seen in a later scene, where she copies down…

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