Online Journal 2

Poster¡G David Lin at 23:29:14 12/28/97 from
Name: David486200078 
Ms. Kate Liu 
Introduction to Literature: Online Journal 2 

The Importance of Being Earnest 

This drama gives me much feeling; I can feel that it is very 

strange whether in their actions or thoughts. Everyone in this play seems that 

they must pretend to be polite. We also can find many things that are 

ironic. For instances, Algernon said in first act that he didn't think proposing 

is romantic, but when he talked to Cecily, his words didn't follow. I feel that 

Algernon is a man who didn't want to obey the world rules, but he himself 

still followed the politeness from begin to end. He also said those women 

who flirted with their husbands aren't very pleasant. It's a typical example to 

show the social thoughts which are traditional. They feel shameful to this 

action. This is very artificial. 

I am very curious about their dialogs. In our modern point of 

view, what they did is very pretended and we can't understand what they are 

thinking. Even smoking will be a good thing. Let's focus on Cecily, she kept 

diaries everyday to write down what she felt. She only wrote something 

which didn't matter instead of the useful things. When she first met 

Gwendolen, they admire each other but how can two strangers admire each 

other without deeply understanding? It's too skin-deep. I don't like this kind 

of people. They can get along well with you when you talk nicely to them, 

but soon become your enemies when they don't like you. If the relationships 

between human beings become this kind, then it's too sad. At that time, the 

whole social rules are very strange, even when women are sleeping, they also 

should make a ladylike pose to show her politeness. I'll feel very painful if I 

live in that period. It's amazing that people can survive under this social 

systems. If everything should obey the pretended politeness, life is very 

boring and people just like dead men without energy. One thing is also 

interesting, when Jack and Algernon broke their identifications, it's easy to 

seen that they both very angry. In order to show the politeness, they just talk 

with each other and sarcasm. It's still very peaceful on the surface. I dare say 

they must curse to each other in their minds but politeness is important to 

them. We can read that both they want to change their names to Ernest by 

christening. I believe that christening can't be joking but they do it for their 

lovers. Name seems very important to them, even can love one person 

because his name. People in that period too concentrate on little things but 

neglect other more meaningful things. 

There is one sentence that makes me surprised; Jack said "It 

is terrible for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking 

nothing but the truth." We are educated that we must be honest in everything 

but they think it is terrible to tell truth. What a mind! I can't imagine that 

situations that everyone in the world always lies. If so, it's very difficult to 

find the standard of our thinking or talking. In my words, it's terrible to find 

that people surround me always cheat me. People say that now Taiwan 

society is very similar with Victoria period. Maybe it's just an interim, we 

also have similar things like this play. Sometimes our quarrel just like Jack 

and Algernon or Cecily and Gwendolen's dialogs, it's the respectability of 

surface. I believe that in human history, this is the way we must go through. 

I still disagree what Jack said, on the contrary, "honest is the best policy." I 

hope our society won't have this kind of twisted value standard.