Juxtaposition And Satire In The Importance Of Being Earnest

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In The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde utilizes setting, juxtaposition, and satire to highlight the importance of the physical journey that Jack and Algernon embark upon to find the love they desire, social acceptance, and an opportunity to actually become earnest individuals. The play is set in both the city and country. This is significant because in the opening of the play, Algernon and Jack are speaking in Algernon's home, but Algernon believes he is speaking to Ernest. When Jack is in the city, he leads a spurious life, portraying a man named Ernest; however, while he is in the comfort of his country home, he is known as Jack. He lies to his family in the country telling of a brother named Ernest, to suppress any suspicion as to why he travels to the city so much. “When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one is in the country one amuses other people.” Jack orates to Algernon about the life he lives, and how he deals with being two different people in…show more content…
The switching of scenes highlights the difference in the characters of Jack and Algernon. Jack surreptitiously pretends to be a cosmopolitan male, Ernest, with high standards, while he honestly is Jack who is yearning to become Ernest so he could fulfill the wishes of becoming an esteemed man. Algernon comes from an opulent family, but he is currently struggling with money. As he learns of Jack’s double life, he takes the opportunity to become Ernest, Jack’s “brother”. He travels to the country, which is his transition into Algernon becoming Ernest to be able to take care of the problem with money. “You have invented a very useful younger brother called Ernest, in order that you may be able to come up to town as often as you like.” Algernon calls Jack out on his double life, which in turn juxtaposes his own actions since Algernon takes the opportunity to become “Ernest” to vindicate his own

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