The Importance Of Being Earnest

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The Importance of Being Earnest Paper The Importance of Being Earnest is a play by Oscar Wilde that is comical and absurd in its plot and its characters. Much of the humor in Wilde’s play covertly makes fun of the social establishments and institutions of the time. This downplayed humor adds to the plot and makes it more surreal yet entertaining. One of the topics made fun of in Wilde’s play is girls’ treatment of each other during his time. The scene in which this is expressed represents women of the late 19th century in a proper but ridiculous manner. The treatment of girls toward each other is seen in the scene where Cecily and Gwendolen discover that they are both engaged to “Ernest”. When the girls first meet each other, they are instantly fond of each other. Gwendolen even goes as far to say, “I like you already more than I can say”(Act II, 78). However, when they discover that they are both engaged to Ernest, they go back and forth insulting each other and claiming that “Ernest” has changed his mind about the other women, all the while in a polite manner. They exchange their anger through pompous statements and cake. The fickle attitude of girls, their constant refined state of manners, and their loyalty to their man, not to each other, is made fun of in this scene. Later, however, when they discover the true identities of Jack and Algernon, they try to protect one another by grabbing each other’s waist and lamenting their sorrows. Their short, fickle friendship is once again made fun of. The rhetorical devices used to make fun of the girls’ treatment of is other is formal language, sarcasm, and irony. Throughout their entire conversation, Gwendolen and Cecily maintain a level of formality and manners. Their speech is elaborate and seems polite, even if the statement was intended to be rude. Sarcasm is seen in several statements made by Gwendolen and
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