To what extent does Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" conform to the model of the comedy of manners you have studied?

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To what extent does Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" conform to the model of the comedy of manners you have studied?

Oscar Wilde's "The importance of being earnest" explores the life of upper class society and shows what lies beneath the aristocratic characters' mask of social artifice. The play is about reversal, conflicting love entanglements and marriage. He displays these subjects by using aspects of the comedy of manners. Wilde's basic purpose of the play was to expose and prove as sham the values of the upper class

Wilde achieves his purpose using many techniques including stock characters . Stock characters are stereotypical and reflect our views on how we perceive the upper class. Lady Bracknell in particular, is a conservative and elderly woman who prides herself on being a high rank in society. She is a target for parody because she negatively represents elements of her class including wealth, status and superficially.  She wields power and has a list of "eligible young men" and a prepared interview she gives to possible suitors. In her home she formally interviews Jack Worthing regarding the possible engagement of him to her niece, Gwendolen. He admits that he smokes and to his surprise she is "glad to hear it" because she believes” a man should always have an occupation of some kind"; this in itself is a mockery about her values, or rather doesn't value hard work. Her attitudes are very sour “to lose one parent Mr Worthing may be regarded as a misfortune; but to lose both looks like carelessness". This unsympathetic response is potentially amusing because she implies he is a traitor to his class for not knowing his family connections as it in Victorian society it was a pride for the upper class to know all their family. This is a satire, confirming our ideas that the aristocracy are pretentious. In reflection, Wilde ultimately seeks to expose the upper classes of Victorian society as foolish, proud, greedy through the use of stock characters which are stereotypical and archetypal.  Upon reflection ,this is a characteristic of the comedy of manners. 

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Another characteristic of the comedy of manners Wilde explores is the popular topic of love. Such as Algernon, he thinks “Divorces are made in Heaven" as he thinks the “excitement is over after marriage”. This is humorous because the audience do not know how to react owing to the ambiguity of the epigram. An epigram means the opposite of what common sense dictates. Algernon comments on marriage saying it is an item of "business". This reflects the upper class marriage that lady Bracknell likes as she bases love on a business mentality, focusing on interviews and wealth. This is apparent ...

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