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5 pages/≈1375 words
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Literature & Language
Research Paper
English (U.S.)
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The Importance of Being Earnest (Research Paper Sample)

For this research paper, you will be conducting an analysis of your chosen primary text(s) while incorporating material from your secondary sources. You must demonstrate how the critical material you have chosen works with your own thesis and argument, showing that you have engaged with the material in an in-depth, complex way. This means that you should demonstrate an understanding of what the critical material is saying and how it contributes to your argument, and you should quote from this material as well as from your primary text(s). For instance: Does the material extend, support, revise, or complicate your argument in a significant way? Does it deal directly with your primary text(s) or does it deal with similar kinds of texts? Does it make arguments about specific issues, problems, or themes pertinent to your primary text(s)? Does it provide important contextual (social, political, historical, cultural, literary, etc.) information? Why is this critical material important and what can be learned from it? You must find and use TWO to THREE (minimum) peer-reviewed, scholarly sources for your research paper. These sources must be an article, book, or book chapter from an academic journal or monograph. You may NOT use encyclopedia entries, dictionary entries, book reviews, magazine articles, or non-peer-reviewed websites as your main secondary sources. Discuss how comedy (irony, satire, and/or parody) functions in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest to critique aspects of human behavior, in relation to Victorian standards of class and morality. It is up to you to decide what elements of comedy and what human habits/foibles you wish to use as your focus. source..
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The Importance of Being Earnest
Satire uses follies, vices, shortcomings, and abuses, with the intention of shaming people in the society so that they can improve their behavior. The play The Importance of Being Earnest through the life of the protagonist, Jack Worthing shows how people can lie about their responsibility in the society. The Victorian era brought about very many changes in the lives of the British people and as a result, the lives of the people changed too. "The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901" (Dixon 35). Cardew who adopted him as a young boy raises Jack. The life of Jack shows that the people can lie about their lifestyles in a bid to earn respect in the society.
Jack Worthing is a much-respected man in the society that he lives in. However, people do not know that this man is liar because he has an imaginary brother whom he (Jack) blames for the problems that face him. However, it is of paramount importance to note that Jack does not want to be irresponsible in the society. During the Victorian days men where supposed to act responsibly and this is the reason why Jack has to pretend that he has a brother who does the wrong things in the society. Moreover, Jack is the one with the responsibility of taking care of a teenager by the name of Cecily Cardew, a granddaughter of the man who raised Jack up. Thomas Cardew adopted Jack as a kid. Since Jack has several dependants who include his employees, he has to act like a noble man in the society.
Wilde satirizes the ideas of "respectability, self sacrifice, moral rectitude, and high mindedness" that were closely associated with the Victorian aristocracy in this play (Singer). During the Victorian era Britain was peaceful so all the people wanted to show that to the other people in the society. Jack has two identities because his best friend Algernon Moncrieff knows him as Ernest. In addition, Jack has a girlfriend named Gwendolen Fairfax who is the cousin of his friend. The play opens as Algernon is suspecting something fishy with Jack after he finds a writing addressed to Uncle Jack which claims to come from little Cecily. The fact that Jack lives a double life does not surprise Algernon because the latter believes that this is common in modern life.
When Jack proposes to Gwendolen, he is alarmed after he learns that she is not ready to marry a man who is not named Ernest. Jack has already confided to his best friend that he lives a double life but Gwendolen insists that the name Ernest "inspires absolute confidence" (Wilde act II part one).Lady Bracknell, Gwendolen`s mother during an interview to establish the authenticity of Jack learns that Jack does not know his parents. This shows that during the Victorian era the parental background of each person was very important. Jack despises Lady Bracknell an...
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