Earnest within Society

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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The importance of being earnest, written by Oscar Wilde, takes place in the Victorian period in England. Wilde, known as dry, stern, and earnest; why he chooses the title for his play, for it takes place in the upper, stuck up English society and his protagonist thinks they are something of the sort, yet they want the name Earnest. This book shows many examples of social satire and irony through ways of humor, puns, illogic or inverted logic, epigram, and parody. Marriage, satirized throughout the play, is just one example of they way Wilde conveys his humor in the Importance of being Earnest.

Satire, defined to be the use of humor to ridicule faults and vices. The Importance of Being Earnest written by Oscar Wilde is a social satire, using irony and paradoxes to insinuate the problems and faults found in the Victorian society. The Importance of Being Earnest, set in the late Victorian Era during a social reform, defined by the animosity between classes, the upper class treating the lower class with disdain and disgust; the upper class, rigidly controlled by savoir-faire, knowing what to eat, wear and how to behave.

The Importance of Being Earnest satirizes the class system, etiquette and disposition expected from Victorians. Wilde uses irony, humor and characters Wilde uses satire and humor to draw attention to the inconsistency of society. Wilde indirectly passes a commentary on the flaws of society that affected him badly. The Importance of Being Earnest is almost a definition of satire drawing attention to the vices of society, but also the discrimination and hypocritical behavior of those who were part of it. The play exaggerates the negative, aspects of the Victorian society and plays it up in a comical manner. Wilde's clever use of wit and irony indirectly make...