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Oscar Wilde - The Importance of Being Earnest

            Oscar Wilde's comedy, "The Importance of Being Earnest," satirizes issues such as marriage, money, and death throughout the play.Wilde mocks the idea of marriage during the confrontations between Lady Bracknell and Jack. Money and marriage are both satirized when Lady Bracknell is determining whether or not she will let Algernon marry Cecily, and when money is mentioned, she immediately reconsiders the entire proposal. Also, Lady Bracknell believes that anyone on their deathbed should choose to live or die so they are not a burden on their family and friends anymore. Wilde satirizes these issues, believing that Victorian society should pay more attention to trivial matters as opposed to issues that society regarded as serious.
             Marriage, although it should not be taken lightly, was regarded as a union between relations and money during the Victorian time period. Instead of just marrying purely out of love, Jack and Lady Bracknell's daughter, Gwendolyn are forced by Lady Bracknell to reconsider if they should marry or not because of Jack's social standing. After hearing how Jack was born and brought up, she says, "You can hardly imagine that I and Lord Bracknell would dream of allowing our only daughter--a girl brought up with the utmost care--to marry into a cloakroom and form an alliance with a parcel!" (Wilde Act I 15). Status is what defined people during the Victorian era and Lady Bracknell found it entirely unacceptable that her one and only daughter should marry a man who did not know his origin and was found in a handbag in a cloakroom. Despite the fact that the two wanted to marry, Lady Bracknell adamantly refuses given Jack social status. This instance exemplifies Wilde's theory that Victorian society focuses strictly on trivial matters instead of those regarded as serious.
             Lady Bracknell is the quintessence of society in the Victorian era. She believes that social status is of the utmost importance and that marrying someone without money is absurd.

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