The Nature of Marriage
in The Importance of Being Earnest
Mr. Steve Hollis
British Literature, B2
October 21, 2013
The Nature of Marriage in
The Importance of Being Earnest
Marriage is a practice that has been around in the world for just about as long as the people living in it have. Marriage, as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is the formal union of a man and woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife. Although marriage is something that is closely associated with love, love is not always present in marriage. Sometimes, marriages are not based on love, and instead they are based on things that have nothing to do with love. It can be based upon the parents decision, and even sometimes it can be based on things related to money. This research paper is on Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. The Nature of Marriage is shown through many ways other than love in this play, and in the world that we live in. In Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, the Nature of Marriage is not shown through love, but instead it is shown through social position, wealth, and character.
The Nature of Marriage is shown through many different ways in Oscar Wilde’s farce, but one of the main ways it is shown is through social position. Marriage is very restrictive to each social class in this play. Those with good social position are expected to marry into families with good social position also. For example, Algernon cannot marry Miss Cardew because he is an upper class citizen and she is a lower class citizen. Algernon is told by a friend that, “There is certainly no chance of you marrying Miss Cardew” (Wilde 71). Algernon is expected to marry an upper class lady because he is also in the upper class. It does not matter if he loves the woman that he marries or not, she just has to be an upper class woman. Wilde’s “Parody works at two levels, which enrich...