Oscar Wilde was at once a family man and a homosexual outsider, a socialite, socialist, and Irish nationalist. His contradictions inspired him to ponder the roles and masks donned in conventional society, and his acute and wry insights are wonderfully displayed in this collection of his essential plays. Known not only for his brilliant, epigrammatic language, but also for his ... more on BookSpotBuy it from BookSpot
The Importance of Being Earnest – “A Trivial Comedy for Serious People” - is a play by Oscar Wilde. The play tackles one aspect of the social life of nineteenth century British Society, Bunburying. Bunburying is a term invented by Wilde for the sake of this play. The play is mainly about John “Jack” Worthing who is living two lives: one life as himself taking care of his ward in the country, and the other as Ernest having fun in the city. Running away from your responsibilities or “having fun” under a different name is was what his friend, Algernon Moncrieff, calls bunburying. Algernon himself evades all his social responsibilities under the pretense of visiting his sick friend “Bunbury” – and that is how he came up with the term. Jack falls in love in the city with Gwendolyn who knows him to be Ernest, and who even loves him for his name. To go have fun in the city and see Gwendolyn and his friends, Jack tells his ward, Cecily, that his brother, Ernest – who is fictional, of course - , is in trouble and needs help. Cecily, as a girl in the nineteenth century, cannot go “bunburying” in real life; however, she can do it on paper: A young lady living in the countryside with nothing to do; she found a way in which she can live her most wild fantasies without breaking a single rule imposed on her by the society. Whether that way is healthy or not is a different matter though. She started keeping a diary. And because writing down what actually happens to you is too mainstream, Cecily decided she would create a completely new life for herself in that diary; a life in which she falls in love, and because Jack’s stories about his fictional brother Ernest intrigued her, she decided she would fall in love with him! When Algernon finds out about Cecily, he decides to go meet her as Ernest. Gwendolyn then follows Jack to his house in the country and meets Cecily. Just imagine how the two girls would react when they find out that they are both engaged to “Ernest” and later find out that he does not even exist! With a plot twist and a happy ending, The Importance of Being Earnest is one of the funniest and most popular plays by Oscar Wilde. It is too interesting and funny that I could not leave it till I finished it, literally!