The Importance of Being Earnest by Lujain Raid Ab

Escaping Society In The Importance Of Being Earnest
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “Society is a masked ball, where everyone hides his real character, and reveals it by hiding” Every society has different norms and no society is perfect—similarly, morality varies among different cultures. Seeing the strange as the familiar is a difficult to do when witnessing what is not considered a norm in society, but it as well as accepting the differences of others is the right things to do. In Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance Of Being Earnest: a trivial comedy for serious people, Character and Rhetoric are used to show that rather than accept society, people want to be accepted by society. Because of this, people hide who they really are, keep secrets well hidden, and present themselves as someone they really are not and try to conform to societal expectations, but they also find alternative ways to escape those expectations. This tells the reader that no matter how long one knows a person, there will remain things that will never be found out. Furthermore, that the society one lives in determines their identity for him.

        Oscar Wilde uses irony to deliver his message across by mocking the values and morals of the Victorian society, leaving the audience with a false statement that leads them to understand that the lesson that should be learned from the play is the opposite of what is being said. The vitality of the name “Ernest” to the female characters Cecily and Gwendolen represent the shallowness and ignorance of the nineteenth century Victorian English society. However, none of the characters actually benefit from the name “Ernest” or “being earnest” as witnessed throughout the play, the deceiving characters in the play Algernon and Jack who lack seriousness and sincerity, end up being easily forgiven by Cecily and Gwendolen after discovering that the men were lying the whole time and none of them was actually called Ernest. Through Rhetoric and Tropology,...