|Comparing Jack and Algernon
Algy and Jack were both at high rank in society and both of them had
a second identity to live in another place. In Act One, the cigarette box
revealed the secrete of Jack " being Ernest" in the countryside. Jack tried
hard to conceal everything about "Ernest", but Algy dug everything out.
Comparing to Jack, Algy was more frank about "being a Bunburyist" and had
a sharp tongue which can tell from the conversation between he and Jack.
His response to Jack*s revealing of "Ernest" was "The truth is rarely pure
and simple*." , and his opinion of marriage was "Three is company and two
is none." Both of them were lying, but Jack was more polite to remain the
surface manners when he talked to Algy.
In Act two, two "Ernest" showed up at the same time. Here, we can see
how Jack and Algy reacted. First, Algy appeared as Jack*s brother "Ernest".
Later, Jack came with the bad news that his brother "Ernest" was dead.
When Jack was told by Cecily that his brother was there at his home, he
was shocked. Especially when he saw Algy pretending to be "Ernest" , he
was very angry and afraid that his lie was going to be exposed, so he warned
Algy to leave. On the contrary, Algy was not panic at all, it seemed that
he came there on purpose to ruin Jack*s play. Worst of all, both Cecily
and Gwendolen fell in love with "Ernest" and the two women came face to
face this time. The whole thing was mixed up and the two women became enemies.
Here, Algy had a change when he fell in love with Cecily. First, he decided
to chistened at once with the name "Ernest" and killed the "Bunbury", which
was very different form what he said in Act One, "A man who marries without
knowing Bunbury has a very tedious time of it."
In Act three, Jack and Algy explained everything to Gwendolen and Cecily.
Fortunately and ridiculously, the two women accepted them for Jack and
Algy will marry them with the name "Ernest". Algy became serious about
proposing to Cecily, though he said, "I love scrapes. They are the only
things that are never serious." Jack found who his parents were and to
everyone*s surprise, Algy and Jack are brothers. Most important of all,
Jack adopted his father*s name "Ernest". Now he had Mrs. Bracknell*s permission
to marry Gwendolen.
In Victoria society, what people cared about were all skin-deep manners
and blindly follow the trend. That*s why at the end of the story, no body
cared about the true affection of love, but minded social status and outside
appearance, especially the name "Ernest". They were all very superficial.
There were not many differences between Algy and Jack by nature, but
by degree. Algy was more critical, while Jack was pretentious. In other
words, Jack was weak of facing the truth that he was lying. Algy in the
beginning was mean at criticising other people, but later on, when he met
Cecily, he seemed to change his mind. He was very unfaithful and distrustful
of marriage, while Jack took marriage as a very serious matter, although
they both pretended to be "Ernest" to earn love from girls. They used people*s
superficiality to achieve their goals, and it worked. They both knew the
importance of being "Ernest".
At first, Jack was very earnest of maintain his two faces, but Algy
was less serious. Then gradually, Algy became serious about being "Ernest",
too. Because Gwendolen and Cecily said, "My ideal has always been to love
someone of the name of Ernest."