Both Gwendolen and Cecily, are crafted by Wilde to discuss ideas about the ‘New Woman’ ideals that came nearer the turn of the century. Whilst they are both curiously similar in many way, Wilde has effectively crafted them, so that the contrast each other, in order to create a dynamic relationship between the two of them, to portray every aspect of higher class women.
As both Gwen and Cecily had just become entangled to an "Ernest" (Jack and Algernon respectively) they thought to be each other's rivals. This is when Wilde dictates a witty showdown between the two, which discloses that, different social status or not, the two women are exact behavioural clones of each other. They are both each other’s foil, each of their differences highlights…show more content… Wilde uses this conversation, to foreshadow their development in their oncoming relationship. Jack states that these two will become like ‘sister’s’ and Algernon adds ‘but not without calling them a lot of other names first’, both of which does happen. When Gwendolyn and Cecily first meet, they have a big showdown, in which they both use rank, status and sarcastic wit, in an attempt to bring each other down. When Gwendolen and Cecily first meet in Act 2, the superficial nature of women is shown through their insincere and structured greetings, in which Gwendolen states ‘Something tells me we are going to be great friends’. Gwendolen states this as soon as Cecily introduces herself, and this quick judgement portrays the artificiality with which higher class women acted with, especially when interacting with each other. Gwendolen does not know anything about Cecily, apart from her name, and as it turns out the more she knows about Cecily, or thinks she knows about Cecily, the more ‘distasteful’ she finds Cecily. By using this as one of the first lines of interaction between the two, it contrasts with the fight that the two have minutes later in the act and create emphasis on the two personalities, as well as displaying and mocking the artificiality with which the higher class act. Cecily picks up one this and then states, ‘How nice of you to like me so much after we’ve known…show more content… Questions about societal norms, and criticisms with how the upper class act in superficiality, judgmentally and hypocrisy, which is directly parallel with how Wilde was treated during this time, as his sexuality was looked upon and illegal. It is through the satirical nature of Gwendolen and Cecily, that Wilde is able to effectively mock and criticise the upper class, by creating such ridiculous characters, that the audience can’t take seriously, Wilde is posing a question to the audience, how can you take yourself seriously? Additionally, by creating two female characters that are as opinionated and strong willed as Gwendolen, and Cecily, Wilde uses inversion, to create a satirical atmosphere, and therefore creating a society in the play that is humorous and therefore can’t be taken