The Importance Of Being Earnest
And Oscar Wilde wrote The Importance of Being Earnest. A play that holds a mirror to the Victorian melodrama and hypocrisy when it comes to dealing with issues of marriage, beauty, art, men, women, class and of course wealth. It surfaces the ?un-earnestness? of the society while claiming to be earnest ? (literally of course, in this play).
The story centers around a non-existent man named Ernest Worthing. He is the alter-ego of Jack Worthing who uses that name whenever he comes to town so he can act in a reckless manner without having to worry about the consequences. Jack is in love with Gwendolyn Fairfax, who would marry him if not for the disapproval of her mother, the formidable Lady Bracknell. Lady Bracknell's chief objection to Jack is simple - he is unaware of his parentage. As a baby, he was found abandoned by a kind man who raised him to adulthood and left him a fortune, an estate, and a pretty young ward- Cecily Cardew When Jack's city friend, Algernon Moncrieff ,learns of Cecily's existence, he has a powerful urge to meet the girl. So, borrowing Jack's name of Ernest Worthing, he shows up at Jack's country estate, pretending to be the long-lost black sheep of the family. Cecily is delighted, and she and Algernon fall in love. That's when Jack arrives, followed shortly thereafter by Gwendolyn and Lady Bracknell. False identities are exposed and true identities are revealed in a turn of events as the characters reel in and out of being Earnest and ultimately discover that their Christian names have an Earnest bearing after all!!!
Ah well!! But what makes it a delightful reading is the way Oscar Wilde has tossed wit with epigrams in the play. They make you smile. They make you laugh. They make you see through the veneer of the society. They make a dig at the Victorian mannerisms complete with absurdity enmeshed in so-called sophistication. Wilde also manages to bring in the whole question of confused moralities in the play?it is probably the reason why this play makes for a wonderful read? its as contemporary as its old. The language is of a different age, the satire is aimed at a different age yet the permutations and combinations of human emotions and facades remain the same to date.
A perfectly enjoyable read over a summer afternoon?laugh with it and at it!!!