Aspects Of Society Portrayed In Oscar Wildes

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Aspects Of Society Portrayed In Oscar Wildes Play. Essay, Research Paper ASPECTS OF SOCIETY PORTRAYED IN OSCAR WILDE S PLAY In the late 1890 s, the upper class English society talked in a dignified, proper manner. Everything they said had either a positive or negative effect on their family members, associates, even themselves. Basically it was all a show people put on to remain in the non-scandalous side of society. In The Importance of Being Earnest , the playwright displays the characters in such a way that the stupidity of the upper class language and actions is portrayed through aspects of the play.The differentiation between the upper and lower classes of society was clearly demonstrated through The Importance of Being Earnest . In Victorian times the lower class people

were out-casts, considered as nothing and often shunned by the upper class. We see an example of this when we are first introduced to Lane (the butler) and Algernon (the master of the house) when they are discussing family life. Algernon rambles on about his family while Lane listens with patience. As soon as Lane says one thing about his past Algernon won t have a bar of it. I don t know that I am much interested in your family life Lane. Here, Algernon acts as though his family is superior to Lanes, even though he knows nothing about Lane s family. This is just a typical day in the life of an 1890 s butler.The men and women of the Victorian times were not what you could call equal sexes . Women were generally there for the role of child bearing and for a man s pleasure, while

the men were the money makers and decision making people of then house. The playwright shows this when Cecely and Gwendolen are talking about equality of the sexes. Gwendolen: Men are infinitely beyond us. Jack replies with a We are! and clasps hands with Algernon. In actual fact, the women of the play and those in the 1890 s could have easily have been up there competing with the men. But chose not too because they would be the scandal of the neighborhood. This is one aspect of society that the play-write has captured perfectly.The way society shaped you in the 1890 s was tremendous. There would have been a terrible amount of pressure on a person to act, think, and do, just as society thought you should. In the play The Importance of Being Earnest the two characters Jack and

Algernon invented people so they could pretend to be them. This allowed the two men to escape form society s pressures once in a while. You have invented a very useful younger brother called Ernest, in order that you may be able to come up to down as often as you like. This invention of the imaginary friends would have been a very common trait of the men found in Oscar Wilde s time. It was all a perfect excuse to do whatever one pleased, but still be allowed into the upper class.Money was of great importance in those olden days. The amount of money you had, was one of the main factors in determining which class you, as a person, belonged to. We see this importance of money when Lady Brackenell was checking out Cecely s background to see whether or not she was suitable for her

young nephew. She had taken no liking to Cecely until she found out how much money she had. A hundred and thirty pounds! And in the funds! Miss Cardew seems to me the most attractive young lady, now that I look at her. It did not matter in those days if you were a nice person or not. Money was the only thing that determined what sort of a person you were. Money was a way of discovering what a person would be like. No money meant automatically that you were shunned and sentenced to be a lower class person. Lots of money meant that you were automatically the highest of the upper class, even if you had the personality of a wet-rat, people still liked you simply because you had money. The fashion of the times in Queen Victoria s day was forever changing. You had to keep up with these