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The Importance of Being Earnest, Marriage and Respectability

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Introduction

The Importance of Being Earnest Marriage and respectability In the Victorian times respectability was very important and you were only really respected if you were in the Upper Class. An example of this is in Act 1 when Lady Bracknell is questioning Jack Worthing about his life, upbringing and income. She starts off by telling Jack that she has "the same list as the dear Duchess of Bolton", so she is instantly trying to make Jack respect her and almost worry that he isn't good enough for Gwendolen and therefore her questions might be personal and therefore he might just want to go and not waste her time. The way she talks by talking about her own personal opinion about the question she is about to ask before she has asked it, so it's almost pressurising Jack into saying a similar answer to stay on her 'good side'. But the way she talks shows how she thinks she more important than Jack and she is trying to find faults. When she starts asking about his housing she asks where and what number Jack lives at and when he replies "149" she shakes her head, saying "The unfashionable side. I thought there was something." ...read more.

Middle

It also shows that since she has married Lord Bracknell she has been influenced to think the opposite to what she would have done previously. Algernon's views on marriage aren't very good at the beginning of the play as he thinks that "a man that marries without knowing Bunbury has a very tedious time of it", and "that in married life three is company and two is none." So basically Algernon's imaginary invalid friend Bunbury has been made up so if he ever does marry he can escape his wife and family and see other women as he would tell his wife that Bunbury is under the weather, therefore the "three is company and two is none" is just simply saying that you can get easily bored with having just woman in his life, but having two is different and you can alternate between two women. Also at the beginning of the play Algernon asks his servant Lane why it is that "at a bachelor's establishment the servants invariably drink the champagne", Lane replies by saying that the quality is better in a bachelors house than in "married households" as in married households, there are other things the man has to spend his money on like wife and children, so the quality of champagne isn't as expensive or "of a first-rate brand". ...read more.

Conclusion

Of course Gwendolen says yes. We learn that when Gwendolen was a little girl she had dreams of marrying someone called Ernest, and thinks that the "only safe name is Ernest". She also mentions that the first time she heard that Algernon, her cousin, had a friend named Ernest, she knew she "was destined to love him". Although Gwendolen isn't the most intelligent woman as she really doesn't care about money, appearance or lifestyle, as long as the man she is with is called Ernest. Cecily is very similar to Gwendolen as she also had a childhood dream of marrying a man named Ernest. She also doesn't care about how much money or power the man has as long as Ernest is his name. When she found out that Jack had a 'brother named Ernest' she was excited and interested about meeting him, and had already decided that they were engaged. Cecily has also planned out what Ernest (Algernon) has given her, "this is the little bangle with the true lovers' knot I promised you always to wear", "this is the box in which I keep all your dear letters". Cecily have sent herself gifts and letters pretending that she herself is Ernest and has kept them all, when Ernest sees all these treasures he seems quite shocked but doesn't want to hurt Cecily, because his main intention is to marry her. ...read more.

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