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

To love or not to love; that is not the question?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To love or not to love; that is not the question? Victorian English are famous for being hypocritical. England at the time is now regarded as having too many regulations for ladies and gentlemen. Therefore, it is reasonable enough to infer that people at the time would find some ways to escape from the superficial reality. In "The Importance of Being Earnest", Oscar Wilde delightfully uses many satires, motifs and paradoxes to explore the contradiction between the appearance and nature of marriage, while concerning social status and morality, during the Victorian Era. At the same time, the tendency of hypocrisy is also revealed in this farce. Intentionally or not, Oscar Wilde uses various motifs, namely recurring structures and contrasts, to show readers the appearance of marriage versus its nature. The most obvious repeating structure might be the pairs of Jack-Gwendolen and Algernon-Cecily. In Act I, Jack Worthing proposes to Gwendolen Fairfax, who later on confesses that it is only the name Ernest which makes her desperate to marry, as Wilde writes, "There is something in that name that inspires absolute confidence. ...read more.

Middle

(p. 64)" Contrasting the two views of engagement, it can be figured out that Cecily has overly trivialized the serious nature of marriage, while Lady Bracknell has overly solemnized the romantic nature of marriage, concerning only the social appearance of the marriages. Readers may see them as nonsensical; but simultaneously, they show the Victorian restrictive and utilitarian philosophies of marriage. In addition, using humorous paradoxes, the theme of social status and morality affecting marriage is revealed in the farce of "The Importance of Being Earnest". It seems to readers that with respect to a Victorian marriage, social status and ethics are inextricably involved. The inconsistency of Lady Bracknell is a good example. For instance, she sententiously mentions, "Few girls of the present day have any really solid qualities, any of the qualities that last, and improve with time. We live, I regret to say, in an age of surfaces. ...read more.

Conclusion

He should not be a reliable man to marry; but his name Ernest Worthing makes him reliable. In this sense, the morality of marriage in this mock Victorian society is not only controlled by one's origin and social status, but is also inconsistent and superficial conclusively. In the end, the entire play is presented as a farce which satirizes the Victorian aristocrats' views of marriage and morality. Ironically, Jack is even presented the name "Ernest" at the end of the play, which is absolutely a big twist. Marriage is also regarded as a sincere promise; however, the idea is totally trivialized in the play - to love or not to love, that is not the question to marry. As Wilde states, "It [The play] has its philosophy... that we should treat all the trivial things of life seriously, and all the serious things of life with sincere and studied triviality." From the insincere manners of Jack and Algernon, to the hypocritical behaviours of Lady Bracknell, Wilde's idea of marriage is definitely true, with regards to the Victorian aristocracy. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Oscar Wilde essays

  1. The characters in the play are paired. Compare and contrast Jack and Algernon,

    if she is plain" This is a very famous line in the play. It is Oskar Wilde's own opinion which he often expresses in the play through the characters. Algernon is straight away interested in Cecily after he read the inscription of Jacks cigarette case and demands information about her from Jack.

  2. Explore Oscar Wildes presentation of his character Jack from his play The Importance of ...

    This proves Jack is romantic because he must have really loved Gwendolen, or at least really wanted to be with her because Lady Bracknell was very powerful and what he was doing, she disapproved of and could have probably done something about.

  1. What sort of Society and Values does Wilde present inThe Importance Of Being Earnest?

    There is something in that name that seems to inspire absolute confidence' and she pities any woman married to a man by any other name. This is almost exactly what Gwendolen says. When Algernon asks her if she could love him if he was called something else she says she

  2. oscar wilde

    All of the peoples in town are pleased with this fine masterwork using elegant words to describe it with even children's proud of the statue. But once all the valuable jewellery was gone, peoples thought changed and elegant words were replaced with shabby and bedraggled.

  1. The Importance of Being Earnest

    Algernon, however, lives off inheritance from his parents, and is constantly in debt due to the fact that he spends more than his allowance and earns nothing as he states to Jack in Act 1: "I happen to be more than usually hard up" Jack and Algernon, both being well educated, are learned men.

  2. 'The Importance Of Being Earnest' and the reasons why.

    * Everybody in town believes Jack is Ernest * The country folk think that Jack has a brother called Ernest * We think that Algernon plans to play Ernest to meet Cecily. Another reason why the title suits the play very well is that for both Jack and Algy it is very important for them to be called Ernest.

  1. Examine the Portrayal of the Outsider in Three Short Stories - 'The Son's Veto' ...

    Sophy's lameness meant that she "must never walk much again" thus limiting her life significantly. Thomas Hardy quickly advances with the story at this point leading up to a rushed and perhaps unwanted wedding. This is in contrast to the rest of the story where Hardy takes time in describing

  2. What are the main stages of the battle of the wits between Gwendolen and ...

    When Gwendolen turns up at Jack's house she seems to jump to the conclusion that Cecily is having an affair with her soon to be fianc�, that Cecily is Jack's mistress. Gwendolen asks questions to verify her suspicions but unfortunately Cecily's answers implicate her as what Gwendolen thinks she already is.

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