The Importance of Being Earnest Morality


Deceitfulness Jack

  • Characters use double lives to devieve others in order to do what they want, for example Jack:

"I know no one who has a higher sense of duty and responsibility"

  • Jusxtaposes Jacks statement at the beginning 

"Pleasure, Pleasure! What else should bring one anywhere?"

  • Contrasts of identities, Rhetorical Q implies everyone should share his views- backed up with exclamatory remark, kinda shows his disbelief in Q. Echo's "art for art sake"- aestheticism, Wilde leader of.
  • By echoing this it is almost a rejection of moral statements
  • Could use in essays about Jack, morality (pleasure over morality?), responsibility and lies and decite
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Deceitfulness Algy

  • Algernon exploits ideas of morality for pleasure 

"I have invented an invaluable permanenet invalid called Bunbury"

  • Contrast between "Invaluable" (priceless) abd "Permanent invalid"- Acoustic similarity of words emphasises the ridiculous nature of the statement and the juxtaposition between them.
  • Wilde uses the Trope- he has inverted (or created a reversal of the idea)- traditionally the trope would be a woman or a child. Furthermore Algy is using the trope for pleasure which deviates from the idea that upper class victorians should be seen to help them. (Deviates from Victorian societal expectation
  • Wilde is trying to show the contradiction between the upper class victorian moral ideals and the superficial reality unveiling the shallowness and self centered nature of their motivations
  • Use in other essays on double lives, morality, Algernon, societal expectations. 
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Immoral Miss Prism

  • Miss Prism is presented as a character of the 'moral elite' Wilde uses her ridiculous ideas to saterise Victorian Moral ideas

"I am not in favour of this modern mania for turning bad people into good people at a moments notice"

  • "Modern Mania"- satirical- she's refering to ideas about morality as fashion- This is also seen by Gwendolen "style not sincerity is the vital thing"
  • Wilde does this to present the upper classes as performing these moral acts out of a desire to be seen as moral rather than being inatley good and moral
  • Use on other essays such as societal expectations, if you got one about Miss Prism and Chausable- unlikely but could talk about Chausables ideas about religion and diminshing them to acts, could also talk about their relationship etc. 
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