The Importance Of Being Earnest.
One of the Oscar Wilde’s most loved, well known and successful play ‘The Importance Of Being Earnest’ was written during the summer of 1894 at Worthing, England. It was first performed on 14 February 1895 at the St James’s theatre, London. Jack Worthing, the play’s main character was found and adopted by a wealthy man, Thomas Cardew in a handbag at a railway line where he was accidentally abandoned as a baby. All the respect that has been given to him as acknowledged upper-class Victorian is only because of his adopted father’s wealth. As the protagonist of the play he is expected to be an earnest man to do justice to the title of the play, but it turned out to be that he is nowhere close to that. Wilde has used Jack’s character more to an instrument to represent a set of ideas or attitudes.Jack’s relatives and neighbors believe him to be a well-mannered, productive member of a polite who have a set of rules of behavior. Are they right to believe so? We’ll go to that in a short while. It can be seen clearly that Jack is a little bossy. He acts like an older brother to Algernon, even before he knows he is one. As Cecily’s Guardian, he sets down rules, even in guiding her studies, as we can see in the tutorial scene with Ms. Prism. He also very good in advising, one piece after another:“one shouldn’t read a private cigarette case, shouldn’t discuss modern culture, shouldn’t talk like a dentist.”Despite the high moral character that Jack has made up for the society, he has been living a lie. Jack’s real motive of coming to city is explained clearly in his very first line in the play:
Although Jack appears to be stuffy and serious at firs…
…ble life that has been led by Jack and Algernon is one of the leading symbols in the play. It is the central metaphor in the play. Both Jack and Algernon’s fake personas are their way of escaping from the burdensome responsibility of the society. They also helps them to appear far more moral and responsible than they can ever be.I feel that this play is very funny and it has its own hidden message. All the epigrams in this play are the best of Wilde’s to date. What is the message that we can learn from the play? All of us are living a lie to some extent. We need to recognise the ridiculous in our daily lives and need to understand that to earnest is not what others declare to be, but it is to be true to your very own self. Rather than blindly believes and follows, we need to sit down and think what is important and truthful first, then only we can be earnest.