The Truth About Wilde

The Truth About Wilde - The Truth About Wilde, Carroll,...

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The Truth About Wilde, Carroll, Gilbert and Sullivan… Here it is!! The breakdown of all the works we read for these guys! Wilde: The Importance of Being Ernest o Act One ~ Location: Morning Room in Algernon’s flat in Half-Moon Street (a highly fashionable location in the West End of London) o We are introduced to Algernon, a wealthy aristocrat, and his servant Lane. Then Jack, alias Ernest, is introduced. We learn that Algernon’s Aunt Augusta and cousin Gwendolen are coming to visit. Jack plans to propose to Gwendolen. The discussion about Jack’s cigarette case reveals his two identities: Jack in the country and Ernest in the town as well as his charge Cecily. Jack pretends that he has a younger brother Ernest who lives in town and gets in lots of trouble. Whenever Jack wishes to go to town he uses Ernest as an excuse. We also learn that Algernon has invented an invalid friend Bunbury in order to escape to the country whenever he wishes. Jack proposes to Gwendolen who happily agrees. Lady Bracknell intervenes and declares Jack an inappropriate candidate for marriage. o Interesting lines: Algernon: Lane’s views on marriage seem somewhat lax. Really, if the lower orders don’t set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them? They seem, as a class, to have absolutely no sense of moral responsibility. This is an ironical line that Wilde uses to poke fun at the aristocracy. The educated individuals of society should be attempting to set an example for the less fortunate and not the other way around as Algernon believes. Jack: Do you mean to say you have had my cigarette case all this time? I wish to goodness you had let me know. I have been writing frantic letters to Scotland Yard about it. I was very nearly offering a large reward. It is ludicrous to take the lass of such a frivolous item as a cigarette case so seriously. The line illustrates the philosophy “that we should treat all the trivial things of life seriously, and all the serious things of life with sincere and studied triviality.” Algernon: You don’t seem to realize that in married life three is company and two is none. Lady Bracknell: Well, I must say, Algernon, that I think it is high time that Mr.Bunbury made up his mind whether he was going to life or to die. This shilly-shallying with the question is absurd. Lady Bracknell speaks as if dying is something that one simply chooses to do. Lady Bracknell: I am glad to hear it. A man should always have an occupation of some kind. (in reference to smoking) Wilde is once again making fun of the idle upper class. Algernon: All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.
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Algernon: 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. Jack: Cecily is not a silly romantic girl, I am glad to say. She has got a capital appetite, goes
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This note was uploaded on 04/30/2008 for the course ENGL 121 taught by Professor Martinez during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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The Truth About Wilde - The Truth About Wilde, Carroll,...

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