The Importance O f Being Earnest


Poster¡G Linda Chu at 13:13:51 12/29/97 from c550-25.svdcc.fju.edu.tw
Mentioned¡G
The title is quite interesting.It not only refers to 
literal meaning but also implies how much important it is 
for Jack and Algy to be an "Earnest". Oscar Wilde successfully 
presents those upper-class in Victorian Society their values 
and hypocrisies. For example, when Lady Bracknell came, she 
found no cucumber sandwiches,actually it was Algy devoured 
them. However, Algy pretented not knowing why and his servant 
helped him to make up a lie without any rehearsal. Moreover, 
it also shows their selfishness and cold-bloodedness. When 
Algy made an excuse not to dine with aunt for he had to be with 
his ill but invalid Bunbury, Lady Bracknell said "it's high time 
that Bunbury made up his mind whether he was going to die or to 
live", because she need Algy to arrange music and create some 
talking subjects for her during the dinner time. She need Algy 
not for the reason that Algy is an important person to her. 
There are also some funny places in this drama. For instance, 
after Lady Bracknell refused to give her consent to Gwendolen's 
marriage, Jack said she is a Gorgon, and later he said though he 
doesn't know what Gorgon is like but Lady Bracknell is absolutely 
a monster. Then he appologized to Algy for speaking his aunt's ill. 
However, Algy replied that he's pleased to hear his aunt abused. 
Then Jack said Algy was talking nonsense again. On the surface, Algy 
often talks about nonsense, but in fact, his nonsense sometimes 
includes some paradoxial meanings which represent most men's values 
at that time. Besides, the meeting between Gwendolen and Cecily is 
a funny part,too. when Gwendolen saw Cecily, she overpraised her and 
said her first impression of people is never wrong. But after their 
misunderstanding broke out, she said she distrusted Cecily from the 
first sight and again she said her first impression was right. It 
sounds contradictive but very funny. These two ladies both wish to 
love(marry) a man of the name of Earnest, and their supporting reason 
is "Earnest" has music and provides vibrations. Seems to them they only 
care about the form(name) but not the real attitude. Both Jack and Algy 
used assumed name to woo the woman they loved but neither of them 
correspond to the name "Earnest". They both didn't seak the truth. 
Compared with Jack, Algy is much demonstrative(especially in the aspect 
of eating). Jack criticized Algy eating too much but later on he himself 
stared eating with Algy. Jack is not frank. On p.296 when Jack told 
Grendolen the truth he told hesitatingly and said it was the first time 
in his life to reduce to such a painful position. This implies Jack seldom 
speak the truth. Nevertheless, at the end Jack said to Grendolen that he 
found out at once throughout his life he's been speaking the truth. This 
is really sarcastical. This drame has a happy ending. The two ladies' dream 
of marrying a man named "Earnest" fulfiled but does their husbands' characters 
include earnest? That's pretty funny.