Importance of Being Earnest

Topics: Social class, Upper class, Comedy Pages: 2 (619 words) Published: June 11, 2013
The Importance of Being Earnest is a serious comedy about trivial matters The Importance of being Earnest is a play that satirizes the Victorian upper classes. In the play, Oscar Wide makes fun of the upper class in many ways. Most commonly, Wilde does this by using comic irony, humor, and witty statements. However, if we look deeper into the text, a lot of the trivial matters characters discuss have a serious side to them. Wilde uses these matters to satirize the Victorian upper even more.  The seriousness of death is taken light-heartedly in the play. Rather than associating death with sadness and suffering and grief Jack and Algy portray death as a method of conveniently eliminating unwanted people, whether imaginary or not. When Algy confesses that Bunbury is “Quite Exploded” something comical arises - however, his amusing phrase also has some serious implications. Although at first the fact that Bunbury has exploded may be hilarious, it is also shocking to some of the characters in the play, as Bunbury was “supposed” to be very close to Algy. Furthermore, Algy talks about his death so lightly, that it makes it seem as if Algy couldn’t care less about losing a close friend. The worst part about the way Algy communicates Bunbury’s death, is that he never admits that Bunbury never existed and lies to all the characters who felt truly sorry for Bunbury. Jack also tells Algy, "If Gwendolen accepts me, I am going to kill my brother" because "Cecily is a little too much interested in him." Another trivial moment is when Jack admits to smoking in front of Lady Bracknell. Lady Bracknell’s replies with: “Every man should have an occupation of some kind”. Although the audience may laugh at this moment, Wilde shows how the Victorian upper class had absolutely no work to do – and therefore categorized smoking as an occupation. Cucumber sandwiches also are also used to criticize the British upper classes. “No cucumber sandwiches!” shows the absurdness of the upper...
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