PosterĄG Anna at 13:4:15 12/30/97 from c550-12.svdcc.fju.edu.tw
|Journal 2 The Importance if Being Ernest
I would like to say that all women in this play have string character. They're confident, demanding and proud of themselves. In scene one, we can see that Lady Bracknell and her daughter control almost every situation, including jack's proposal. Continually, we see Cecily's control over Algy. The whole matter goes as if Cecily is standing high and looking down upon Algy. For instance, she scolds Algy why he looks so healthy; she asks him critically if he's good enough for this world, and she even made an engagement with Algy without telling him! All things about Algy are in Cecily's hand; she controls them with her own will. This is an irony to the age in which Oscar Wilde lived, for women in his time were often "attached" by men and impossible to be individual.
Here I'd like to analyze certain characters in scene 2:
Miss Prism: She is rather serious toward everything, whether to her student or marriage. She has the traditional thought that all normal men and women "should" get married. Not for love, but for duty. In my opinion, she doesn't even believe romance's existence. She herself doesn't get married, and that may be a frustration to her that she told Cecily "all good looks are a snare."
Chasuble: Being a father, his behavior is quite flirtatious; he shouldn't speak phrases such as "I would hang upon her lips". That makes him look ill mannered. Besides, he also likes to show of his intelligence by speaking like a scholar. If I were Miss Prism, I would feel sick if someone acts like that.
Cecily: A confident, vigorous girl, but some of her actions are rather silly. For example, keeping a diary for every detail and make up stories about her engagement with Algy. She also falls in love with the name, "Ernest", the same mistake with Gwendolen. Her fancy is also build upon " the beauty of Ernest" and this makes she rather blind to see the truth. The tow women all behave sarcastically and mean when they knew that they're both engaged with Ernest, but became quite close and dearly with each other when they're deceived. The scene looks rather funny because the tow women's behavior changed so fast!
Gwendolen: She is also a woman with strong will. When she had a quarrel with Cecily, she laughed at her about her low position and claimed that she has the right to be with Ernest. She is quite proud of her social status and told Cecily that "The country life always bores me to death." As well as her cousin Algy, she has the bad habit of demanding others. She told Cecily to give her some tea! If I am having a qua-
rrel with others, I won't ask anything from him.
Jack: Compare him with Algy, he seems more serious (although he is quite funny in some action, too). When he found that his trick of being Ernest in the country and Jack in town had revealed, he seems nervous and shame. This is really a contrast with Algy's careless manner.
Algy: He is so careless about everything, even when Cecily is mad at him because of his deceit, he still kept eating, eating and eating. In the relationship between he and Jack, he also takes control over Jack. It's really ridiculous that Jack can do nothing about Algy's taking all the muffins! After all, Jack is the host of the household! It seems that in this play, the more serious one is, the fewer advantages one can take.
Here Oscar Wilde made several interesting scenes to make the play even funny. For instance, in P.294 and P.295, both couples act exactly the same in action and speaking. I think it's the feature of Oscar Wilde's play.
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