EngWP3 - Alpert 1 Rachel Alpert English 203-531 Ms. Lee...

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Alpert 1 Rachel Alpert English 203-531 Ms. Lee Writing Project #3 Jack Versus Ernest The main character in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest , Jack Worthing, creates an alter ego for himself, a character whom he calls Ernest, an obvious play on words that emphasizes the meaning of the title. Jack tells people that Ernest is his brother. Ernest is everything that Jack is not; he’s exciting yet irresponsible. Over the course of the play, the tension of these two personalities becomes unbearable for Jack. But the more Jack tries to be “earnest” and less Ernest, the more complicated things become. Ultimately, he learns that he is Ernest, a change of name that also goes along with a change of identity. When this is revealed, it seems that Jack can finally embrace who he is, Ernest. During the play, Jack entangles himself in so many lies having to do with his hidden identity that it eventually becomes too much for him. It is at this point that he has a decision to make about his identity. Jack has to come to a decision about his “real self”. Jack struggles with his identity because even though he is part of a “high-society” life he wishes to be something different, and Ernest gives him that opportunity to live his life the way he’s wanted to since the beginning. Jack feels he needs to pretend to be someone else to prove to a girl he is interested in that he is something that he’s been raised not to be. It is by pretending to be someone else that Jack truly finds out that he really isn’t who he thought he was. He begins to think that Ernest, his supposed younger brother, might be his true identity that he has been waiting to find.
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Alpert 2 Annotated Bibliography La Farge, Benjamin. "Comedy's Intention." Philosophy and Literature . Volume 28:1. Pp.118- 136 Apr. 2004. Project Muse muse.jhu.edu/journals/philosophy_and_literature/v028/28.1la_farge.pdf>. “He has ‘always pretended to have a younger brother of the name of Ernest, living in London,’
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EngWP3 - Alpert 1 Rachel Alpert English 203-531 Ms. Lee...

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