Analysis on The Importance of Being Earnest (1895)

The Cost of Leading a Double Life

— A Rough Analysis onThe Importance of Being EarnesT ( 1895 )

Oscar Wilde ( 1854 – 1900 ) , a poet, fiction author, litterateur and editor, is doubtless one of the first dad graven images. Besides many of his repeatable plants of verse forms, fictions, essays and dramas, his private life was and is besides in the limelight: he is frequently seen as a homosexual icon, although to many work forces of his twenty-four hours he was besides a hubby and father.This sort of dual life is good reflected in his representative work The Importance of Being Earnest.

In the Importance of Being Earnest, we can see the exchangeability between the fiction and the fact, but every bit good as the differentiation. One typical contemplation in the play is the dual life that the characters lead severally.

In the play, many of the functions lived a dual life, feigning one figure in a peculiar state of affairs while being another different individual in another scene, particularly the Jack, or Earnest Worthing. He acted otherwise harmonizing to the personalities that he had created himself. This chief character that outstands in the whole play constitutes the exchangeability between the fact and the fiction. They are separate from each other and at the same clip, closely linked to some extent.

Algernon ( Bunbury )

In the beginning of the play, Algernon mentioned the construct of “Bunbury” as the pattern of making an luxuriant misrepresentation that allows one to misconduct while looking to continue the really highest criterions of responsibility and duty after cognizing that Jack was Earnest in town and Jack in the state. In fact, he himself besides described Bunbury as a friend of him to his aunt Lady Bracknell. He was making a friend of him in order that he “may be able to travel down into the state whenever I choose.” In other words, he was seeking to populate a dual life to make what he wanted. When he came down to see Jack’s house in the state, he faked his name as Earnest to speak to Cecily, feigning that he was another cat to do his visit more sensible. Algernon’s fanciful invalid friend Bunbury allows Algernon to get away to the state, where he presumptively imposes on people who don’t know him in much the same manner he imposes on Cecily in the drama, all the piece looking to show Christian charity.The pattern of sing the hapless and the sick was a staple activity among the Victorian upper and upper-middle categories and considered a public responsibility.[ 1 ]

Jack ( Earnest )

As the supporter in the play, Jack lived a noticeable dual life. He was Earnest in the town to tie in with the upper category. And he was called Jack, a rather apparent name, back in the state where seems to be his beginning. He was cognizant of the importance of his name, Earnest, to his life. When he proposed to Gwendolen, he asked him what if his name wasn’t Earnest. He realized he can’t conceal his existent name long before it was discovered by others. The name of Earnest had created a societal image for him in the town, which was what he expected himself to be viewed as.


In the play, Cecily kept a record of her life by composing a diary. In her words, “it is merely a immature girl’s record of her ain ideas and feelings, and accordingly meant for publication.” Judging from this, we can see that her diary wasn’t a record of her true life instead than her ain imaginativeness and creative activity. She wanted to print her ain work, which meant that it was a literary work. Besides, she created the narrative between her cousin Earnest and her. Since Jack played the function of Earnest in the town, I suppose he wouldn’t state Cecily neither that she was engaged with Earnest nor any narratives about Earnest to salvage the problem. But Cecily told Algernon that he ( Earnest ) was engaged with her for 3 months. And she fell in love with him merely after speaking about him with Miss Prism. She besides described the scene in which she accepted Earnest under the old tree. She even had the letters from the “Earnest” . Later, without a proper ground, the battle broke off because she thought that “It would barely hold been a truly serious battle if it hadn’t been broken off at least once.” The entire thing about her battle with alleged cousin Earnest was simply her ain imaginativeness.

The dual life is a chief feature of the play. It seems far off from the existent life because few people live or can populate a dual life. It would be highly hard to populate a wholly different life, feigning you are of a different personality. However, it someway shows a deep nexus with the fact because everyone wants to see a different life from our ain lives. In add-on, the behaviour and the images we may show are rather diverse when we are in different societal state of affairss with some peculiar individuals. Sometimes we may act so distinctively that we seem to be another adult male. There lies in the exchangeability between fiction and fact.

However, the pick of populating a dual life for these functions is non all the same, taking to different effects on their existent life.Jack chose to be Earnest who he was non really to pave his manner into the upper category.Jack non merely pretends to be something he is non, that is, wholly virtuous, but besides routinely pretends to be person he is non.2In footings of Cecily’s imaginativeness, the boundary between her phantasy and her existent life was obscure. She believed that what she had written in her diary had really happened. This makes a difference between fiction and fact once more. In existent life, people may keep the phantasy of some escapade, love affair or anything that they want to see but will keep all the phantasy and imaginativeness inside their heads. Or, in their ain dreams, they can make things that they dare non make when they are themselves. The play has exaggerated the possibility of truly populating in one’s ain phantasy because people are restricted by ethical motives and societal regulations to make what he is expected to make.

The construct of “fictive utterance” is “imitation or assumed representations of some type of natural course” . Literature may show a assumed manner of narrating a narrative or showing an emotion, portion of it still comes from world. So, theImportance of Being Earnestuses the metaphor of dual life to bespeak the general lip service of the Victorian mentality. But it is non a steadfast diversion of the history or the world back at that clip. Besides the background of the times, the play shows perchance more about author’s attitudes towards such mentalities.

The exchangeability besides means that “life imitates art” in Wilde’s sentiment. In the play, the two immature ladies, Cecily and Gwendolen both laid much importance on the name of “Earnest” . When asked if they still appreciate their twosomes without the name, they said the individual would stop up merely field and drilling.They wanted to get married person with a name of duty and responsibility but didn’t attention if the adult male truly had the qualities of virtuousness or non.2Such reaction is really dramatic in existent life. Given that these two ladies are much influenced by their ain phantasy and imaginativeness, it is possible that what they really did was fiction alternatively of fact. Here, fiction has consequence on the fact because its exchangeability.

The exchangeability between the fiction and fact inthe Importance of Being Earnestservice as a back uping grounds of that assumed sentences are non capable to the fact. Rather, they are parallel, which makes them able to substitute with the other. Each has its ain contemplation in the other but is non the full equality to the other. Therefore, the exchangeability is based on the similarity between fiction and fact, whose relation is like two independent universes that each has contemplations and influences on each other.



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