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Oscar Wildes Use of Wit

            Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest shows how the lives of the upper class people were boring, only being concerned with manners and customs, and so perfectly earnest that it was almost inhuman. It is being earnest that the play mainly focuses on,which is obvious from the title. Jack, in saying that his name is Earnest, is found to be telling the truth at the revelatory end of the story, and Algernon's lie of being Jack's brother is also found to be true when they find Jack's real parents Wilde adds a very sarcastic wit to his characters in his play . The most obvious humor is in the conflict of marriage in the play. Almost every character has his or her own take and opinions on marriage. Marriage is seen as boring and a strain on a persons life. Wilde is trying to comment that upper-class society is very superficial and arrogant, who think that they are right about everything. Almost desensitized to what marriage really is and what it stands for.
             For example Lane makes the joke about how a married couple has no reason to celebrate to be buying the best kind of champagne. "I have observed that in married households the champagne is rarely of first-rate brand".(1,p1) By far Algernon is the wittiest and most sarcastic character in the play. He is very much into living his life to have fun and be free and is totally against marriage. He expresses his opinions and views through out the play. To begin his conversation on marriage with Jack he claims that marriage is not for pleasure but more like work. "I thought you had come for pleasure?.I call that business".(1,p3) "You don"t seem to realize, that in married life three is company and two is none". (1,p7) It can"t be only two people in in a relationship or else it would be to boring, spending all your time with only one person doesn"t sound like a good time. You will need to make up a friend named Bunbury who is sick and you must go visit him often.

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