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woman of no importance

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Introduction

Explore the ways Wilde presents late nineteenth century women. What he is saying about the fashionable women of the time, their interests, ideas, attitudes and treatment in A Women f No Importance? A woman of no importance is a play about the upper and middle class. Wilde uses the women to portray is attitudes and views on the society of the nineteenth century. He portrays women in a way women would not have behaved at that time; this gives a comical atmosphere to the audience. In 1893 A women of no importance would have been very entertaining to watch, the audience would have found the play amusing however they would have been laughing at themselves as Wilde wrote the play to criticize the society. The play's first setting is a female home with conversation between women; Wilde may have done this to show the importance of women. Lady Caroline is the first character the audience meet; Wilde may have also done this for a purpose. From the title 'Lady' we know Lady Caroline is a wealthy and high up in the aristocracy in England. ...read more.

Middle

The audience would mock Lady Caroline for this foolish mistake she keeps making. Hester Worsley's title is changed as the play progresses. Hester is first referred to as 'Miss Worsley' then she becomes known as the 'American' and finally 'A puritan'. Hester is a contrast to all the other women in A women of no importance and all the women take a dislike to her she told me yesterday, and in quite a loud voice, that she was only eighteen. It was most annoying." She has strong morals, values and opinions which she is not afraid to express 'I dislike London Dinner Parties'. Wilde may have used Hester's character to present his on views on the English aristocratic society. Members of the high society frown upon those who are unmarried "I don't think that England should be represented abroad by unmarried man" being married is more socially accepted. This gives the audience an impression of how shallow the society was and how status and social position dictate how people lived their lives. ...read more.

Conclusion

These factors contributed to the way Wilde presented certain women especially Lady Caroline and Mrs Allonby. Mrs Allonby is very similar to lord Illingworth they are both described as 'dandies' they use language which is intended to shock the audience. At the end of act one is it clear that Mrs Allonby is flirting with Lord Illingworth "What a thoroughly bad man you must be!" Wilde creates Mrs Allonby as a character who considers being a person who restricts the morals and norms of the society, in Victorian times there would have been very strict morals and social codes. "Women adore failures, they lean on us" Mrs Allonby is going against the stereotype, the man having control within Victorian marriages. At the end of Act one Lord Illingworth reads Mrs Arbuthnot's letter, he says "no one in particular A Woman of no importance", the title of the play, which demonstrates Wilde's views on the treatment of women in society. Act 1 ends giving the audience an impression of a self-concerned, hypocritical society. Wilde presents these ideas through the use of comedy which give a strong message to the audience. ?? ?? ?? ?? Abigail Williams ...read more.

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