Victorian Satire In Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being E

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Victorian Satire in Oscar Wilde’s ”The Importance of Being Earnest.” Victorian era ideals are littered throughout Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Whether it be the act of bunburying, the prominence behind one’s name, or the suitability of someone in another’s hand in marriage, all are visited in this play in some form or another. Points of importance to Victorian culture are found quite trivial within the lines of this work published near the end of the same era, especially when portrayed through the author’s comedic interpretation of the day’s societal norms. Surely, the satire found within the play must have caused a deep self reflection in the hearts and minds of its intended audience themselves, the Victorians. Early on in the play is revealed one’s objective to get away from societal norms in …show more content…
Whether it due to lack of money, or unknown lineage, many factors come into play when considering one suitability for another in the matrimony of marriage. As the story progresses, initially, neither is Jack suitable for Gwendolyn, or Cecily suitable for Algernon, until that is, certain things are made clear, and by the end of the play it seems that is no longer about love, but about social standards. Eventually Cecily is found suitable through lineage and fortune (Wilde 811-827), and Jack is found suitable through the discovery of his actual birthright through a series of past events (Wilde 877-908). Also discovered is Jack’s true Christened name, which is, oddly enough, Ernest (Wilde 925). Not surprisingly, high society trumps all when it comes to suitability in marriage, and it is all too apparent as depicted in the play and once the standards are met, love almost becomes just a side note. Spininger goes on to describe marriage as “unromantic, a business (the overriding importance of the rustling banknotes), and demoralizing”

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