September 29, 2014
A Wilde Life
Thesis: Many facets of Oscar Wilde’s life are portrayed in the “Importance of being Earnest” including his creative personality, his struggle to fit in society, and his views on marriage.
I. Oscar Wilde uses irony to creatively mock the fake morality of the Victorian society.
a. From looking at the life of Oscar Wilde it is obvious that he was very creative.
i. Wilde wrote all kinds of literature. ii. Wilde’s way of thinking differed from many others.
b. The title “The importance of being Earnest” is a perfect example of Wilde’s use of irony to satire Victorian society.
i. Earnest means sincere, Jack and Algernon are obviously not sincere considering the double lives that they life. ii. On the other hand, every character in the story is earnest in following their convictions.
II. Oscar Wilde also struggled to fit in well with a “moral” society and this is shown in his writing.
a. In a time when Homosexuality was looked at with disgrace, Wilde had a romantic relationship with a man.
i. Wilde’s relationship was looked at as disgusting and wrong. ii. The lack of shame and remorse shown by Wilde damaged his reputation further.
b. Jack and Algernon also struggle with fitting into a moral society.
i. Both Jack and Algernon create different identities that they can use to escape from everyday life. ii. Jack believes that living life by following rules and being “moral” is boring and instead he indulges in his alter-ego.
III. Wilde’s views of marriage also show up in the “Importance of being Earnest”.
a. Wilde was married to a woman named Constance when he was charged with homosexuality.
i. Wilde had an affair with a man and broke the vowel taken between him and his wife. ii. Wilde’s value on his marriage was obviously not that high.
b. In “The Importance of being Earnest”, Jack and Algernon discuss whether marriage is a good thing or just a social duty.
c. Wilde’s affair with a man shows that he viewed marriage as a social duty and did not value his wife.
29 of September 2014
A Wilde Life
Oscar Wilde was a very controversial figure in the Victorian Period. Wilde was blessed with a very creative and open mind. Because he was so open minded, his worldview was way different, and less accepted than the majority. Many facets of Oscar Wilde’s life are portrayed in the “Importance of being Earnest” including his creative personality, his struggle to fit in society, and his views on marriage.
In “The Importance of being Earnest”, Oscar Wilde uses irony to creatively mock the fake morality of the Victorian society. It is obvious the Wilde was a very creative man. Wilde wrote all kinds of literature and was seen as a man who went against the grain in the Victorian period. Wilde flamboyant personality was so different from the rest of society that it made him one of the most polarizing public figures of that time. Wilde’s creativity is shown by the irony he used in “The Importance of being Earnest”. The title of the work itself is very ironic. Jack and Algernon both live double lives in which the name Earnest is very important. Jack creates a brother named Earnest who is always getting into trouble. Earnest does not really exist but Jack uses his fake brother identity as an excuse to go to London to escape his every day life. Gwendolen and Cecily both are obsessed with the name Earnest because they believe that whoever has that name will have earnest characteristics. Algernon poses as Jacks fake brother Earnest in an attempt to marry Cecily. The irony here is that the word earnest means honest or true, but yet all these characters are dishonest and shallow. Wilde uses this Irony to mock Victorians who put on a show as if they are moral but in reality are just as immoral as everyone else.
Oscar Wilde struggled to fit in well with a “moral” society and this is shown in his writing of “The Importance of