Historical Analysis of Oscar Wild’s – The Importance of Being Earnest

When analyzing a piece of literature work, a student makes use of different literary criticism techniques which facilitates the individual to carry out a thorough analysis of the literature work that the students is working on. A wide range of literary criticism that a student might apply to complete a book review are, for instance, biographical, historical, gender, Marxist or psychological among others, literary criticism refers to the method used when judging and commenting on the traits and quality of the literary work.

The choice of the literary criticism that is chosen depends on the information that the student wishes to analyze a specific literature work. This essay addresses the application of historical, literary criticism in explaining “The Importance of Being Earnest Oscar” that was composed by Oscar Wild.

Before getting to the analysis, it serves great importance first to define that historical, literary criticism is an evaluation of a literature work based on the facts such as the context in which the book was written including facts about the author’s life and historical and social setting at the time the book was compiled. To start with, the author of the play, Oscar Wilde, was born in the city of Dublin on 16 October in the year 1854 Varty, (n.p). The author started education at Trinity College but later was transferred to Dublin and Magdalen College respectively.

The author finally settled in London. During the play writer’s school life, the individual displayed unique traits that made him famous among other students. Some of the important features that made the playwright famous include flamboyant dressing mode and the belief the man had in aestheticism. Due to the author’s important traits, the writer embraced the principle of art for beauties.

Following the definition of historical, literary criticism, this section of the essay address the historical aspects that Oscar dealt with in individuals work. At the time when “the impotence of being earnest” was compiled, an extreme historical event took place after William Gladstone developed a controversial act when the individual gave British Liberal party to support Home rule that ensured self-governance for Ireland within the scope of British Empire.

The introduction of home rule displayed some effects on the characters. For instance, Lady Bracknell is displayed revealed by the role though in a way the law affected social engagements instead of having to do with the addressing the real or the wrong of the citizens Balkin, (26).

The overall effect of home rule was affecting the political stability of the community in which the book was set. Following the political situations of the society, Wilde’s characters had the reason to get annoyed about the politics. The major fear that the character displayed is feeling threatened by the political issues in that they saw the rule as causing disturbances in their human chain of command that they had been used to since their childhood.

More elaboration of a political issue is revealed after Lady Bracknell scrutinizes Jack’s suitability as an associate for Gwendolen. After finding out that Jack is a Liberal Unionist, meaning that the character did not support Home Rule the accepted the engagement request. From the mentioned scenario, it can be concluded that socially the political issue subdivided people with some supporting the Home Rule and others opposing it.

The last fact that historical, literary criticism defines is the aspect of social setting that the book being analyzed is focusing. In this context, the author addresses the issue of the social environment through exposing some themes that the characters in the story reveal to the audience. In conjunction with the themes that the play focuses, on the roles of women in the Victorian society. Women who are more civilized are employed, unlike the uncivilized one who spends most of their time attending to house chores Balkin, (p.26).

The aspect of having a working class and nonworking class women in the Victorian society led to the creation of two different categories within the community thus subdividing the society more. A gap between the classes of society formed in the play is widened when characters are seen marrying each other. The theme of perpetuating the upper class raises the issues of conflict between classes. This is evidenced when Miss Prism seems to condemn the lower class for having so many children Chasuble by viewing the situation as a question of thrift.

In conclusion, the social aspect is further enhanced by the theme of courtship and marriage. The Victorian community like other communities across the world show high value attached when addressing the issue of the wedding. The significance of marriage in the Victorian society as Oscar views it is associated with a great value that can be explained by the matter of marriage being accorded its own values and rituals.

Victorian society as Oscar reveals shows active participation when one of its members wishes to marry. The society views as a careful selection process. To confirm this, when Algernon made it clear individuals intentions of marrying Jack’s ward, Cecily, and Lady Bracknell is actively involved in making sure the courtship process is a success.

Works cited

Balkin, Sarah. “Realizing Personality In The Importance Of Being Earnest.” Modern Drama 1 (2016): 26. Project MUSE. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.

Oscar, Wilde. The Importance Of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy For Serious People : Bestsellers And Famous Books. Dinslaken: anboco, 2016. Discovery eBooks. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.

Varty, Anne. A preface to Oscar Wilde. Routledge, 2014.


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