the importance of being earnest


Poster¡G Nadia Chi at 19:56:25 1/11/98 from h163.s87.ts.hinet.net
Mentioned¡G
This is how Oscar Wilde described the philosophy of The importance of Being Earnest, in this satire play of aristocratic manners and high society. As the play continues go on, we meet people who are making their way in the world of society. 
To avoid family duties, Algernon; a bachelor-about-town has invented Bunbury, a sick relative who frequently calls him away. Sometimes he also seems so careless about everything. For instance, when Cecily get mad at him because of his deceit by revealing the existence of no one called Earnest, he still kept eating and eating as a consolation. On the other hand, the creation of his imaginary friend, Bunbury, certainly demonstrate his sense of irresponsibility, in a very cynical and hypocrite way disguising all his errors. 
His friend Jack Worthing has invented a wicked brother called Earnest to disguise his own misdemeanors. But in contrast with Algernon, Jack seems more serious, with the differ of ideas he had among the ideas of bunburying, even though he didn*t really notice that he is also showing a bunburyist behavior in the manner of deceiving everybody from the town and country with the existence of his unreal brother called Earnest. 
Gwendolen and Cecily both claimed to be engaged to Earnest, they behave sarcastically when they know that both of them were engaged to Earnest, they can only insist on as the only acceptable name for a husband. And after both of them find out that they were tricked, they also accepted to marry them after to be christenened with the name of Earnest. The fancy build upon the beauty of the name Earnest makes them rather blind to see the truth. 
The whole play empathized Wilde*s style of social standards that a used to maintain distinctions and privileges. As we come to know these characters, we find that, whether in the city or the country, appearance role-playing are the conclusive concern and activity. For Jack, Algernon, Cecily and Gwendolen, the definition of earnestness is related to making "good appearances", furthermore, upholding an *earnestly* behavior seems to be a social acceptability. As stressed in the play, "In matters of great importance, style not sincerity, is the vital thing."and according to Algernon when he says "seriousness about everything is proof of an absolutely trivial nature". He declares that, in Earnest beauty and elegance are valued, but beauty here seems to come from belonging a certain style rather than showing naturalism as a pleasant appearance. However, each role of the play performed in a ironic way the aristocracy of that epoch.