Humanitarian / Literature Essay

Satire in the Importance of Being Earnest

Satire in the "Importance of Being Earnest"

Comedy gives life to books, films, and plays. In some instances, it's composed around the concept of comedy. Oscar Wilde criticizes the aspects of the aristocratic life of the Victorian Era by using a word called Satire in his piece "Importance of Being Earnest." Oscar incorporates three different kinds of Irony dramatically in the film. They include situational, dramatic, and visual types of irony. The actions and position of the characters, according to their personality and status in society, are mocked with each of the sarcasm.

Wilde was very good at transforming English to suit his satirical works, and he achieved that to a high degree in this film. A word from the play's title, “Earnest,” is a game-on-word that can have two varying meanings. It might imply the apparent and the real name of the character, and it can also mean a sense of momentum, which he then transmits into fact for the actors. Algernon and Jack, two of the main actors in that film, did all they could to be “Ernest” and “Earnest.” They began their friendship based on deception with the expectation that they will get married to the girls they love. It's ironic when both branded each other “Earnest,” a name that reflects sincerity and honesty. Yet both still make up stories to avoid the other or something. In the city, Jack created a brother named 'Ernest' and chooses to abandon his primordial and decent country life by using that as a 'scapegoat.' In contrast, Algernon created his so-called 'Bunbury' to avoid the high-class communities of his aunt. Algernon revealed that he had no pleasure in such social events when he told Jack:

“She'll place me next to Mary Farquhar, who at all times, flirts on the dinner table with her boyfriend. It doesn't look delightful. It's just publicly washing your clean linen” (Oscar, 533).

Two major couples, Algernon and Cecily and Jack and Gwendolen were the main focus of the play. Cecily and Gwendolen, both long for a husband named “Ernest,” Both emphasize this trivial matter on the name. If Jack tries to tell Gwendolen that her name is “Jack” and not “Ernest,” she replies with “Jack... There is very little material, if anything, really on the Jack Name.” Ernest is the only genuinely safe name. Throughout the play, Wilde intentionally employs farce to overemphasize the upper-class mentality. It's shown that Gwendolen is in love with Jack. However, she places more emphasis on dumb, shallow, and trivial things like a name. Likewise, Cecily also wishes to love someone named “Ernest,” she reveals to Algernon clearly: Something is in that name which looks like it inspires total confidence. I'm sorry for any unfortunate married woman whose partner isn't named Ernest. Although the irony is being used to satirize the aristocrats' ambition, Oscar also reveals how much Gwendolen and Cecily may have declined getting married to their dream men if their names weren't 'Ernest.' In Part 3 of the script, when Cecily asked of Algernon the possibility of him waiting until she clocks thirty-five years before they get married, Algernon agreed, but Cecily refused… I can't wait for that long. Even for five minutes, I don't particularly appreciate waiting for anyone. You would assume that waiting for marriage won't be an uphill task with the kind of dream she has for a husband.

Once more, Oscar satirizes marriage because it is based not on love but on superficial criteria, which is vanity. Oscar uses Mr. Chasuble and Miss Prism as an image to reveal the comparison between a loving relationship and one based on other selfish and low values. The only lady who does not have an additional motive in the film when it comes to love and marriage seems to be Miss Prism. Even Algernon appears to have other intentions. Never before had he encountered Cecily, but when he saw her, he fell in love with her immediately.

Moreover, in the starting scene, when he meets Cecily, his negative views about marriage, in which he refers to them as 'frustrating,' changed. You can conclude that the bankruptcy of Algernon influenced his devotion to Cecily. To retain Cecily and Gwendolen, Algernon and Jack became willing to be baptized. That also indicates certain vanity for some men, bereft of the fact that women put so much significance on their names. These partners appear to wear masks because they all seem to have some skeletons in their closet.

Lady Bracknell is the main force of the play. She reflects women from Victorian high class and feels that the high-class individuals should be in power. She doesn't think very much regarding those without titles and money and believes that the top class society is unique and for only those born into it. She seems to be a protector of the society as she decides with authority who gets married and to whom in the play. During the first sequence, Jack proposed to Gwendolen, and she couldn't preserve herself from wanting to marry him. Lady Bracknell goes on to say, “Forgive me that you're not committed to anyone. If you get entangled with someone, your father or myself will advise you.” Lady Bracknell was depicted as an aggressive woman who left no space for resistance. Although she does not have the power to do this, Gwendolen wanted to resist her. Oscar demonstrates a traditional aristocratic Lady Bracknell, who does not break laws in the higher-class society.

An example is a sequence where Bracknell met Jack to talk about Gwendolen. Here Oscar illustrates how principles are reversed, and emphasis placed more on trivial issues. In this sequence, rather than asking Jack whether he loves Gwendolen, Lady Bracknell concentrates on material things. She asks Jack of his income, house, land, and place of living. She made the importance of owning a home in the city, clear to Jack since Gwendolen can't reside in the countryside. It is also apparent that Lady Bracknell deals seriously with trivial things, although she is expected to uphold societal values. HoweverSatire in the Importance of Being Earnest, moral values are given little attention.

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