What kind of world has Wilde created in the opening scene of 'The Importance of Being Earnest'. Use comedic devices and refer to the text

Topics: Social class, Victorian era, Working class Pages: 2 (538 words) Published: September 15, 2014
In the opening scene of The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde creates a farcical and unrealistic world. Wilde creates a theoretical world during the conversation between Algernon and Lane; the audience would expect Lane to obey Algernon’s every command with ‘yes sir’. However, Wilde insinuates that Lane is comfortable around Algernon, the audience can also observe that the two men share an informal relationship. Although we can witness the informal side to their relationship, the audience can also notice the class hierarchy between Algernon and Lane, “I didn’t think it polite to listen, sir”. Despite Wilde creating an informal relationship between the two characters; he still wants the audience to understand that there’s still an employer-employee boundary between Algernon and Lane. Wilde also creates an unrelatable world within Algernon’s views on marriage and divorce, “Good heavens! Is marriage as demoralising as that?” Algernon expresses his oblivious views that are considered as unrealistic compared to Lane’s views of marriage for example. Wilde uses epigrams to suggest Algernon’s views in the opening scene, Wilde also humorously explores the use of epigrams in his play to give a comedic vibe during the scene, Wilde takes everyday sayings and plays with the arrangement of its words, “divorces are made in heaven”, despite the fact that it shows the audience how the character feels, the epigram also suggests the farcical world that Wilde has created. Wilde continues to create a farcical world as Lane and Algernon’s conversation carries on, the perepiteia of social class bewilders and confuses the audience-“if the lower orders don’t set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them?”. The audience are extremely foreign to Algernon’s attitudes towards the lowest group in the social hierarchy as traditionally the rich are seen as more superior than the lower class and the rich look down at the poor. In reality the rich should be setting an example...
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