The importance of being earnest..he..he.


Poster¡G Tina Wang at 22:8:42 1/7/98 from t192-63.dialup.seed.net.tw
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Name: Tina Wang 
486200676 
The Important of Being Earnest 
Main characters: Jack, Algernon=Algy, Gwendolen, Lady Bracknell, 
And Lane. 
The background of this drama is the upper class of Victorian time. 

Their views about Marriage- 

I think those main characters have very different views about engagement and marriage from each other. Jack is a typical man who is serious about marriage. Algy is a playful man who considers that falling in love is very romantic while proposal is the end of excitement. ("The very essence of romance is uncertainty. It I get married, I'll certainly try to forget the fact."-by Algy P.255) You can also see his philosophy of life from this point because he seems care less about how others think and disregards the traditional concepts of marriage. (I love hearing my relations abused. It is the only thing that makes me put up with them at all. Relations are simply a tedious pack of people, who haven't got the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die-P269, regardless of others' views to him.) 
(You don't seem to realize, that in married life three is company and two is none.-by Algy P.260 ; The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her, if she is pretty, and to someone else, if she is plain-P270, different from the traditional concepts.) 

On the other hand, Lady Bracknell puts emphasis on the social value of marriage and engagement. Page 265, she told Gwendolen "When you do become engaged to some one, I , or your father, will inform you of the fact. An engagement should come on a young girl as a surprise, pleasant or unpleasant, as the case may be. It is hardly a matter that she could be allowed to arrange for herself¡K" 
And then Lady Bracknell asks Jack about his background and property to test whether he is good enough for Gwendolen. Marriage is just like a sort of business for her. What she cares is the evaluation from people (especially upper class). 

Gwendolen and Cecily have the same attitude toward marriage, they love Jack and Algy for their name's sake. Cecily is even funnier that she pretended falling in love with Mr. Earnest before she had met him! 

Comparison: What are they "earnest" for?! 

Jack-Algy 
As a matter of fact, these two people both live seriously, but in their own way. Jack is a somewhat cautious gentleman and takes what Algy has said as nonsense! On the contrary, Algy treats meals as an important thing, which is considered a trifle by public. To our surprise, they are both fond of being two-sided people for they get convenience to go to the country casually by being bunburists. Although what Jack cares is different from Algy, they are both earnest to live their lives, in different ways but the same pleasant. 

Lower class-upper class 
The line between lower class and upper class is very obvious at that time. People of upper class received good education and had property generation to generation(¯ª¶Çªº). Therefore, they not only have time but also have enough money to social. ( Lady Bracknell is the typical woman of upper class who was fond of fame and property. ) 

Algy said " I don't play accurately-anyone can play accurately-but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science of life." On P.253 We know that the upper class cares much about spiritual life while the lower class have no idea what science of life is. People in lower class worked so hard to earn their living so they might have no chance to realize the science of life. Furthermore, they didn't receive good education so that they knew nothing about equality. Thus, they won't lead to violence and the upper class can save their privilege forever. This was what Lady Bracknell thought. 
My question: Lane is the person of lower class in this drama. However, all I think about him is that he always obeys his master's orders, I can't see any further views of him, could you answer my question? What does Lane symbolize, Kate?