The Importance of Being Earnest is a famous play by Oscar Wilde. It describes a story of two young men who get tired of their daily lives and want to experience something new. They create two names for non-exist identities to cheat both themselves and others. Although everything happens accidently the same as they plan in the end, they learn that it is always important to be earnest. The whole play is full of great humor, and Wilde tries to express the importance of being earnest through different ways in the play. In this essay, I try to explore what different attitude each character holds and how it changes with plot development.
The first two characters are Gwendolen and Cecily. In the beginning, their attitude towards marriage is naive. As time goes by, it gradually becomes mature. At first, their visions of love are ideal. Cecily falls in love with a person named "Earnest" although she never saw him before, and Gwendolen is also stuck on Jack at once without deeper understanding of him. For example, Cecily writes in her dairy that: "Worn out by your entire ignorance of my existence, I determined to end the matter one way or the other, and after a long struggle with myself I accepted you under this dear old tree here. The next day I bought this little ring in your name, and this is the little bangle with the true lovers' knot I promised you always to wear" (2.332). Cecily has obviously immersed into her imagine where she falls in love with Ernest. It is in an ideal situation that she never knows whether Ernest is a good person. When the lies of Algernon and Jack are exposed, the reaction of both Cecily and Gwendolen is showing sympathy to each other. "My poor wounded Cecily!" "My sweet wronged Gwendolen!" (2.337). They feel the two young men fool them, and the lies destroy their imagines about the young men. But eventually, the true love conquers prejudices.