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Social Issues in The Importance of Being Earnest

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Payton Hodnett

on 24 December 2012

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Transcript of Social Issues in The Importance of Being Earnest

The Realities of Romance Social Issues inThe Importance of Being Earnest Women and Romance Men and Romance Evidence Oscar Wilde and Romance Citation By: Payton Hodnett
Mr. Behm
period 1
Pre-AP English 10
December 23, 2012 The rich young ladies in The Importance of
Being Earnest have their own fantasies about
romance that make them look almost insane.
They keep diary records of romantic events that
have never happened. Their personal view of
men are skewed and unrealistic because of these
fantasies. When the girls meet the men in the book, they swoon over the name Ernest and say that they have always dreamed of marrying a man with that name. The women are living in an idealized reality and trying to make their fantasies real. In the Victorian world, men are known for their intellect and judgment, while women are attractive to men because of their beauty. The men look more at the physical aspects of the women and don't swoon over picky things. Men seem to talk more about sex while the women talk about marriage. Fantasies don't play a very big role in a man's life. They would rather just win the woman over as quickly as they can. Oscar Wilde makes his characters over dramatic to make fun of both genders. He makes the women look almost stupid and the men look like pigs. The women have this big idea of a perfect man, but when they meet the men in the book, they alter their fantasy so they feel like they're actually living it. The men tell them their names are Ernest, and they say that the name is perfect. But when they find out their names are different in the end of the book, they blow it off and continue to live in their fantastic romance. All of this make it look like men control women in the relationship. On page 10, Gwendolen meets Jack for the first time, who introduced himself as Ernest. Gwendolen says: "The moment Algernon first mentioned to me that he had a friend called Ernest, I knew I was destined to love you." This is an example of how Oscar Wilde makes women seem picky and naive.
On page 16, Algernon says that "The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her, if she is pretty, and to someone else if she is plain." This is a perfect example of how Wilde makes men look like pigs. "The Importance of Being Earnest Theme of Gender." Shmoop: Homework Help, Teacher Resources, Test Prep. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Dec. 2012. <http://www.shmoop.com/importance-of-being-earnest/gender-theme.html>. The Reality of Romance
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