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Oscar Wilde - Essay Example

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[Author’s name] Oscar Wilde Oscar Wilde has been considered to be the most renegade playwright of his time, for he has incorporated incredibly novel and defiant ideas in his works. Wilde’s literature was vastly set against the backdrop of the puritanical upper class English society, emboldening the hypocritical nature of the people in it…
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Oscar Wilde

Download file to see previous pages... I. Importance of being Earnest The importance of being Earnest revolved around a man named Jack Worthing, who was leading a double life in order to get away from the societal pressures of acting a certain way. His alter ego was named Earnest and he hid his personality from others by telling that Earnest was his unruly younger brother. Although, a dramatic turn of events reveal that he had been unconsciously playing out the truth all his life, but Jack’s charade depicts the hypocrisy that pervaded the upper class English society and depicted the double standards within the society. His friend dubs Jack’s habit as ‘Bunburying’ and when he soon follows suit, Jack comments, “This ghastly state of things is what you call Bunburying, I suppose?” (Wilde 367) Jack was discovered in a handbag stowed away in the cloakroom of the London Railway station, only to be discovered by a wealthy man named Thomas Cardew. Cardew adopts Jack and gives him the name ‘Worthing’. ...
According to Walter E. Houghton, Earnest’s character was indeed Jack’s bridge to understanding other facets of life, which is nearly impossible within the confines of the moral code set by the Victorian society. Hence, it can be postulated that Jack’s alter ego was a way for him to venture and discover the intellectual and moral side of humanity. Houghton further notes that the name Earnest slowly evolved not only as a name of the character, but he also took the form of an ideal characteristic that was sought in every individual that centered on the integrity of one’s character. It can be concluded from Houghton’s hypothesis that Jack was playing the part of Earnest in order to unlock the secret to a successful life. Houghton further elaborates that human life is not simply a journey from the realm of the living to the realm of the dead, but indeed it involves the individual actually exposing themselves to all aspects of the society to help strengthen their resolve against the forces of evil (Houghton 221). Although, the men are not completely noble when it comes to their alter-ego and they spin an intricate web of lies in order to get the attention of the women they love, but the men are not intrinsically evil. As a matter of fact, both Jack and Algernon were simply escapists, who wished to use Earnest’s name in order to get away from the society’s pressure. It was a mask for the protagonist and donning it allowed him to get the sense of freedom that he had always craved for (Adams 183). When Jack is not roaming the streets of London under the name of Earnest, he is seen as a dignified gentleman. He is depicted by Wilde as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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