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

How Does Wilde Introduce the characters in A Woman Of No Importance

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How successful is Oscar Wilde in introducing the characters in 'A Woman of No Importance'? 'A Woman of No Importance' was written in 1892 by Oscar Wilde. In the play Wilde shows the hypocrisy that permeated through the 19th century and he expresses his views on a parochial society. The exposition of the play is pivotal in Wilde's craft as he establishes characters and lays the foundations of the play. The play shows how 19th century, upper-class societies functioned. With hindsight, we can reflect upon Wilde's use of suggestion as he radically expresses his views on the society in which he lived in. Wilde successfully introduces the characters within the exposition and the subtext allows the reader to gain a deeper understanding of the true nature of all the characters. Wilde immediately introduces us t the character of Lady Caroline, a woman who has been married four times herself, a trait that would be highly disapproved of in the 19th century. Her opinions seem to echo what many women of her status may have thought about the goings on in a 19th century society. ...read more.

Middle

'In America those are the people that we respect the most', Hester says this to Lady Caroline when she is being informed that Lady Caroline is disdainful towards people that have to work for a living. Hester is clearly an independent woman, and like the Suffragette movement during the 19th century, she represents the 'new woman'; she is very clear about what she wants and is able to make her own decisions. In the 19th century the Suffragettes battled for the rights for women to vote and were very forward in their thinking, much in the same way as Wilde and Orwell (1984). When Hester comments on her thoughts and feelings towards Gerald Arbuthnot many of the characters disapprove of her speech, as she is breaking the stereotypical expectations of a woman in the 19th century. 'He has one of the most beautiful natures I have ever come across'. Although Hester is the most isolated and vulnerable, due to her being from America, the audience seem to her like her the most out of all the characters, as she appears to be the most honest and likeable, she also has a witty sense of humour. ...read more.

Conclusion

Illingworth regards women as merely a 'toy' and thinks that 'women have become too brilliant'. Lord Illingworth is very similar to Lord Henry from 'The Picture of Dorian Gray', who constantly speaks in epigrams and aphorisms. Illingworth makes a biting comment, 'it is the problem of slavery'. This epigram shows the naivety that filled the world of the upper-classes during the 19th century and it shows how people of such high social class could call such a pressing issue, a 'problem'. 'Lords are never in touch with public opinion. That makes us a civilised body'. This comment is a blunt summary of how Lord Illingworth views the English society - uncivilised and not worthy of mixing with the higher classes. As through the exposition many characters are being introduced, including Lady Allonby, Gerald Arbuthnot and Lady Hunstanton, the subtext allows the reader to gain a deeper understanding of the true nature of the characters. The play shows the audience the fa´┐Żade that upper-classes, during the 19th century, had to endure to meet with social expectations. Therefore Wilde is successful in introducing the characters within the first act and the reader can deduce Wilde's deeper meaning and distress towards the society in which he had to live in. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rebecca Toole ...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 The Importance of Being Earnest 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 The Importance of Being Earnest essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The Importance of Being Earnest - 'We live, as I hope you know, Mr ...

    5 star(s)

    Yet they are inexorably drawn towards it because of the perceived duty to live up to the romantic ideal of marriage.

  2. The traditional view of gender relations in the Victorian era was that men were ...

    Girls don't think it right. Jack- Oh, that is nonsense! Algy is also a little too concerned with clothing to come across as masculine. This can be seen when he assertively criticises Jack by saying that he had never known anyone to put so much effort into dressing and to produce so little effect.

  1. What do you find funny in 'The Importance of Being Earnest'?Consider what dramatic devices ...

    correctly to make the audience laugh: 'Algernon (picking up empty plate - he ate the sandwiches - in horror): Good heavens! Lane! Why are there no cucumber sandwiches? I ordered them specially.' Today, I think we might find this funny for another reason as well; cucumber sandwiches are a mockery of high society.

  2. Oscar Wilde (1845-1903) - An Ideal Husband

    noticed that no-one is truly earnest and that they are all wearing masks, or no-one will admit to it. This challenge of earnestness is presented through actions, costumes, hyperpole, paradox and dramatic irony. On page 184 Mrs. Chevely is asked if she prefers to be natural rather than an optimist

  1. How far and in what ways does Oscar Wilde challenge these views on gender ...

    Lady Bracknell has the upper hand over all the main characters in the play. If Gwendolen is going to become like her mother, then one can imagine that in the future world of the play Jack, like Lord Bracknell, is going to be pretty much oppressed and have a feminine role in the marriage with Gwendolen having the upper hand.

  2. Everything which ought to be of importance becomes merely trivial. Discuss "The Importance of ...

    Food also designates out the greedy and close minded views of the upper class. Stage directions draw attention to this but also symbolise hypocritical ways the characters do it by seemingly creating a new problem rather than fixing old problems through the necessity of food.

  1. To what extent is Wilde satirising Victorian society in The Importance of Being Earnest ...

    Indeed I have never undeceived him on any question? I would consider it wrong.? The double negation exhibits how Lady Bracknell embraces in her ever-continuing deceitfulness towards her husband. Her flawed moral standards subvert the normal moral values of society and this is highlighted by the fact that she considers ?it wrong? to be truthful.

  2. How does Wilde use marriage and courtship to create comedic and dramatic effects ...

    The repartee used in the conversation is a very effective comedic device, as it follows a structure of Lady Bracknell asking Jack a question, Jack replying, and Lady Bracknell commenting with an amusing epigram to Jack?s response. This is especially effective to the reader as it conveys a sense of comic foreshadowing.

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