The Importance of Being Earnest involves the reunion of two lost brothers after years of distance. Jack who also named himself Earnest realizes his identity at the end of the book. The common themes include love, suspense, and the secrets of the characters.
In this article, I am going to provide the necessary information related to this play. The blog focuses on:
- Characters Analysis
- Setting Of Story
- Literary Analysis
- Themes Explored
- Life Lessons
This play was written by Oscar Wilde in the 19th century. It has fascinated many readers throughout the world. It includes mesmerizing themes with unique settings. Some best works of Oscar Wilde include:
The play had the following characters:
Jack or Ernest
Jack is the main character of the book. The author portrayed him as a man who lived in an England village with a girl named Cecily Cardew. Jack introduced him as her guardian.
He is Jack’s friend in the book. He is in love with Cecily.
She is Algernon’s aunt in the book. She had a daughter named Gwendolen Fairfax. She was Jack’s lover.
She was Cecily’s language teacher in the book. You will learn that she was a treacherous woman. She had a dark past that is shared in this play.
Setting of Story
The setting occurs in Hertfordshire, an England area in play.
The Importance of Being Earnest Summary
Well, this play is a three-act play based on the Victorian era. I enjoyed it till ending. The plot starts with a man named Jack who lives in a village side. Thomas Cardew adopted him from the railway station after finding him in a bag. Following Thomas’s death, Jack becomes the guardian of Cecily Crdew. She was Thomas Cardew’s daughter. Jack helped to solve villagers’ problems. He told everyone that he had a brother named Earnest in the city. In reality, Jack was Ernest. It was his second name.
Once, Jack visited the city and met his friend Algernon. He lived in a flat. Algernon has an aunt named Lady Bracknell. She had a daughter Gwendolen Fairfax. Jack loved her. He even used Ernest’s name for the sake of meeting her. Jack asked Algernon about Gwendolen. Algernon questioned Jack’s identity, asking if he was Ernest and reading “Uncle Jack” on his cigarette case. Jack explained why he used Ernest’s name. He further told him that he was the guardian of Cicely.
The story runs when Lady Bracknell visits Algernon. Gwendolen was also there. Jack who introduced himself to Ernest in the city proposed Gwendolin. She agreed to marry him but her mother opposed the marriage. The second act starts when Algernon visits Jack’s village. Algernon disguised himself as Ernest there and proposed Cecely.
This had triggered Jack. Lady Bracknell and Gwendolin also reached there. Both girls discussed that they were going to marry Ernest. This created quarl.Soon.Jack and Algernon reached there. Jack told them the truth about using Ernest as a fictional name. There was no Ernest among them. This reduced the couple’s tension. Jack insisted on getting married before Algernon could, exerting control over Cecily’s decisions until she turned thirty.
Lady Bracknell noticed Miss Prism in the play who was Cicely’s German language teacher. She remembered her and felt nostalgic. Bracknell informed her that she was the same Miss Prism who had taken her sister’s baby from the hospital and left him in a handbag at a railway station. From there, the baby was adopted by Thomas Cardew. The book ends when Jack understands that Algernon is his brother. Jack was lost in childhood from their parents. It is revealed in the end that the real name of Jack was Earnest given by his lost parents.
The play explores the tensions in relations. Jack used Earnest as the fictional name for the sake of meeting Gwendolin. He loved her from the core of his heart in the play. Algernon even introduced himself as Ernest to Cicely. You can assume this fictional name as a sign of luck for two men for protecting their loved ones. In reality, Ernest was just a fictional name used by Jack.
Patriarchy is also seen in the play. When Cecily and Algernon decide to marry, Jack opposes their marriage. He informed Lady Bracknell that he has the authority to make decisions for Cecily until she reaches the age of thirty.
Further, greed is also present in play. Lady Bracknell was surprised upon learning of Cecily’s wealth and insisted that she marry Algernon. She believed this would change their fate.
I had learned these themes:
It’s the abundant theme in the play. Characters used fictional names to get their love. This emphasizes the power of love.
The characters were confused about the reality of Earnest. When Jack narrated the story behind this name, then it created easiness.
Jack wants to marry Gwendolin but Lady Brecknell questions him. She asked him questions that are common in society. She didn’t want her daughter to marry an adopted boy.
The play had three acts for readers. If you start reading Oscar Wilde’s works, I hope you will enjoy them. I shared his literary works with reviews on my site. This play will keep you engaged till ending. The ending will astonish you with the unveiling of truth.
- It seems the author criticized some social norms through this work. It was written in the Victorian era. Overall, the book is worth reading.
The lessons for you are:
- It is revealed that love needs sacrifices like Jack.
- We must fight against hurdles in our goals.
- We must go for honesty in relations,
- Materialistic things are not superior to honest affection.
Conclusion: The Importance of Being Earnest Summary & Analysis
Overall, this article shared all the information related to the Importance of Being Earnest. The plot was about Jack who discovered Earnest as a fictional name for meeting his lover. He faced difficulties in the path of love. The ending of the book explained Jack’s real identity to readers which amazed readers.