Love in The Importance of Being Earnest Essay

Love in The Importance of Being EarnestLove is perhaps the most actively sought moral objective of one’s life. And though marriage is often thought to be the logical consequence of love, it is Oscar Wilde’s contention in his satire, The Importance of Being Earnest, that love begets bliss and marriage thwarts this course of bliss. Algernon Moncrieff spends very little time falling in love and the rest of the time striving toward engagement. Wilde demonstrates through him that once one becomes intent upon achieving a goal, the individual’s motivation becomes a matter of action rather than truth. Algernon is no longer driven by a moral objective; instead, he becomes intent upon achieving a societal standard. “The truth is rarely pure, and never simple” (35). Love is truth. Marriage results in the systematic complication of love. Algernon becomes disillusioned in the process of seeking truth. In defining Algernon’s preconceived notion of marriage and then describing the subsequent earnest pursuit of engagement, Wilde achieves a consequential climax that satirizes marriage.Algernon is a pompous man of seemingly strong, albeit unconventional, convictions. Wilde uses him for the sole purpose of mocking the sanctimonious institution of marriage. In the beginning of the play, Algernon considers Jack’s intent to propose to Gwendolen to be “business,” not “pleasure” (30). Yet eventually Algernon also resolves to propose to Cicely, discrediting his own established belief: “I really don’t see anything romantic in proposing. It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is un…

…man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth” (108). Though Algernon, by the play’s close, does not realize this, it is the inevitable that he will eventually realize that the truth is no longer with him. For, Algernon initially speaks nothing but the truth. Yet on his path toward achieving his moral objective, he becomes so intent upon the actions that he loses the truth; Algernon is so set on becoming engaged that he forgets that divorces, not marriages, “are made in heaven” (30). Wilde’s initial intention is for Algernon to appear to be the antithesis to society’s spokesperson. As Algernon, contrary to expectation, abandons his own truth, and the play ends happily ever after, Wilde reveals to the reader his view that marriage is ridiculous.Bibliography:

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the importance of being earnest — oscar wilde

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