Poster： Julie Cheng at 17:20:40 12/29/97 from tpproxy1.hinet.net
| Hi! Ray, I guess you must be very busy correcting our midterm paper, for you haven't responded three journals of mine, including two poems and one drama. Don't worry! I'm not rushing you; take your time. But I do wish to get your response as quickly as possible.
Now I love this play much more than last time I wrote the journal for Act One. I think the characters are very funny and have their special and silly characteristics and traits. We meet all characters of this play in this act. I guess Cecily is my favorite character so far. We have some similarity, but not in appearance for sure!
Cecily seems to be a lovely young girl who is always dreaming and full of imagination, even it is about to depart from the reality. Like many young people, she doesn't enjoy dull study at all. And she thinks jack is mere a boring person. She simply emphasizes on his gravity, but doesn't pay much attention to his high social status and moral responsibility either for her or his poor brother. She's more interested in romantic, exciting and fresh mental or physical merriment. She's in love with Ernest before she meets him. She pities his bad conditions, but on the other hand, she seems to love his wickedness. There is a Chinese saying that can explain her attitude, "男人不壞,女人不愛。" It's hard to translate this into English, but I'll try my best. Here it is: "Were it not for men's wickedness, women wouldn't love them so passionately."
Miss Prism is an old-fashioned lady who regards intellectual knowledge as the most important ambition of life. She respects and admires Jack's responsibility for his brother and Cecily. She doesn't agree to what she regards as profitless, such as novels and fictions, although she wrote one before. She dislikes and has no attempt to retrain Jack's brother. She thinks he irretrievable. Of course Miss Prism isn't a saint, so she also has her desire. It seems that she tries to persuade Chasuble give up the religious rule, and he'll be able to marry her.
In some ways Gwendolen is much the same with her mother. Maybe it proves part of Algy's theory, "All women become like their mother." Both of Gwendolen and her mother are in control and always try to take charge of everything. The way Gwendolen says about her father isn't very proper and lacks the basic respect to him. Also, she enjoys asking a lot of questions, like her mother. She's jealous of Cecily's charming appearance because she knows men well; she thinks they are susceptible.
The sudden reverse attitude of Gwendolen and Cecily toward each other is very amusing. I read it with gusto. Although Gwendolen is very angry and upset, she still tries to keep her false proper manners. She's the kind of people who will still keep smiling even when they scold. She's "wearing a shallow mask of manners" as Cecily describes. She looks down on Cecily because she thinks herself is the one in the higher status. Cecily tend to call a spade a spade. I appreciate her courage and unaffected personality. In such a false age of property and refinement, she still can be herself. It is rare.
Both Cecily and Gwendolen love the name "Ernest," so Algy and Jack are eager to be Christened and become "Ernest." I think the extraordinary fondness of the name "Ernest" is from their weakness. None of them is earnest enough, either in one way or the other. A name doesn't necessarily represent equally to one's personality, but all of them are blindly in favor of this name. It is really ridiculous.
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