• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How do the country characters cast light on the pretentions of society as exposed in The Importance of Being Ernest?

Extracts from this document...


How do the 'country characters' cast light on the pretentions of society as exposed in 'the importance of being Ernest'? The country characters are contrasted against the characters from the town. The individuals who lived in the country were portrayed as being simple, righteous and unintelligent by people living in towns in Victorian England. However in this essay I will discuss how Wilde depicts both groups in 'The Importance of Being Ernest'. The first time the setting changes to the countryside, the scene begins with Cicely and Miss Prism (her governess) starting a German lesson. This gives the impression that the majority of Cecily's time is occupied with learning. Which contradicts the impression we may have about people from the country being uneducated. ...read more.


'People who live entirely for pleasure are usually (unmarried).'This shows Victorian societies views on marriage being unpleasant. Wilde associates being wicked or bad with enjoyment as shown in these lines 'I have been very bad in my own small way' 'I don't think that you should be proud of that, through I am sure it must have been very pleasant'. Whenever Jack would have to go to town it would be to deal with his wicked brother. Also Cecily describes Algy visiting Bunbury as 'leaving the pleasures of London, for a bed of pain'. Cicely says that she wishes 'Uncle Jack would allow ... his brother, to come down here some time, we might have a good influence over him.' ...read more.


Gwendolen says 'I am glad to say that I have never seen a spade. It is obvious that our social spheres have been wildly different.' This displays how people from the town viewed the country as being beneath them. 'I cannot understand how anybody manages to exist in the country, if anyone who is anyone does.' Jack is the character who connects the town and the country; he embodies all pretentions and upholds yet defies them in his double life. Jack always tries to take the moral high ground with Algy however he completely contradicts himself as he is just as bad. Jack speaking about Algy 'I do not approve of his moral character. I suspect him of being untruthful.' However Jack has said 'It is very painful for me to speak the truth. It is the first time in my life that I have been reduced to such a painful position'. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Oscar Wilde section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Oscar Wilde essays

  1. discuss the ways in which Wilde presents the characters of Jack and Algernon in ...

    But instead of just giving Jack the cigarette case back, he asks yet more questions in order to discover what Jack actually does. The way he conducts himself within this section of the act shows that he is very child-like and this kind of counters are original thoughts of Algernon being a mature character.

  2. Reread An Extract From Chapter Sixteen, Which Begins, "A Cold Rain Began To Fall, ...

    "The face of the man he had sought to kill had all the bloom of boyhood... it was obvious that this was not the man who had destroyed her life." The make the reader's opinion of Dorian already lower than it is, Dorian continues to, 'dig his own grave'.

  1. In the play 'The Importance of Being Earnest", Oscar Wilde Presents a Society That ...

    concerns or if she is more worried about her own appearance as a mother than actually being a good one.

  2. In the Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde portrays through the painting the contrast ...

    The portrait works as a mirror to Dorian because when he looks at the painting, the portrait reflects back his sins. Dorian tries to run from this painting because the painting truly displays his moral decay. Dorian locks the painting in one of his rooms with a cover over it

  1. What Does The Reader Learn About The Three Main Characters In The Opening Chapter ...

    The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something horrid. Look at the successful men... perfectly hideous". He prefers beauty to intellect, almost to the point of sounding quite shallow. Manipulation can be said to be part of Lord Henry.

  2. Oscar Wilde

    He was very gentle boy and disliked playing boy games like kicking others and cashing. As he was very talented in story telling, translating ancient writers in oral and learning languages, he soon got acquainted classical and modern English literature.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work