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The Importance of Being Earnest

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Oscar Ramirez

on 19 September 2012

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Transcript of The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Ramirez & Tony Velasco How does the play challenge conventional Notions of sex and gender, and the public and private spheres. Gender Bias During the Victorian Era, women were expected to be sweet, innocent and ready to submit to the orders of their husbands.
Women were viewed as the softer sex. Main Duties for the
Victorian woman
make their husband happy
bear children Victorian Men A married Victorian man should
care for their wife
be loyal to his wife
provide for his family A Typical Victorian man should have
House (at times more than one house was owned)
Have a high social status A Typical Victorian Man Should
be honest or earnest
be loyal
be intelligent Men In The Importance of Being Earnest Algernon
has money
has a house in town
lacks respect for women
"The only way to behave to a women is to make love to her, if she is pretty, and to someone else if she is plain." ( The Importance of Being Earnest, Pg. 17) Jack/Ernest
has a fair amount of money
has a house in town an in the country
Protects Cecily demonstrating his respect towards women Dr. Chasuble
Cares for woman Gwendolen
Smart young lady that lives in her own world and feels that the she can only be happy in life if she is married to a man with the name Ernest Cecily
Smart young lady that lives in the country with her Uncle Jack Lady Bracknell
Respectable mother that ,against common Victorian era customs, is the head of the house.
"I hope not, Algernon. It would put my table completely out. Your uncle would have to dine upstairs. Fortunately he is accustomed to that." ( The Importance of Being Earnest, Pg. 9) Women of The Importance of Being Earnest Private Spheres Public Spheres Area where individuals can freely discuss social problems and throughout the discussion influence others. Section in life where an individual has some degree of authority. Public Private Before Algernon returns to Jack his cigarette case, he reads the inscription inside the case showing that he has no respect for Jacks privacy.
Algernon listens in as Jack gives to Gwendolen his address in the country. Jack and Algernon meet in the first act of the play and freely talk about their alternate identities. This discussion forces Jack to come to the conclusion that he must " get rid of [his brother] Ernest" (Pg. 7) if he wishes to live his life.
This contradicts the purpose of a public sphere because public spheres usually talk about politics and rarely go into ones personal life. The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde challenges conventional notions of sex and gender in the play The Importance of Being Earnest by switching the roles by making the women the ones smart ones and making the men the ones that have to struggle to stay ahead in the world .
He challenges conventional notions of the public and private spheres by having Algernon interfere in the lives of others.
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