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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Review and opinion about the "Importance of Being Earnest"

    I have read the “Importance of Being Earnest” recently. I think it is a very clever and interesting book.
    The play was written in 1894 by Oscar Wilde and it tells the story of two gentlemen, Jack and Algernon, who lie about their identities in order to escape from their duties and deceive their loved once.
    Jack and Algernon desperately desire to marry Gwendolen and Cecily who believe that the gentlemen's name is Ernest.
    In this comedy Wilde attacks the social conventions of the Victorian society. Upper classes in fact are only interested in wealth and family status. It's not important who you are but who you look like.
    For example, Gwendolen and Cecily accept the young men's proposal only because of their fake names. Ernest has the same pronunciation on earnest that means serious and sincere. Ernest symbolizes the perfect husband even if Jack and Algernon show in different occasions their lack of earnestness.
    Furthermore, social conventions demand girls to be shy and polite, while men should make the first move. Ladies can't choose their husbands and marriages are frequently arranged by families.
    On the contrary, Gwendolen and Cecily accept the men's proposal before they have been made and in Cecily's case even before she has even met her fiance.
    That is one of the reasons why I loved Cecily's character.
    Cecily is a complex girl. She is naive and clever at the same time; she is very romantic but also loves wicked men. She is Jack's ward and lives in the country where she spends her days studying in Miss Prism's company.
    As said, she invents the engagement with Ernest, she writes letters from Ernest to herself and she even imagines a terrible fight that almost led to the end of the relationship.
    Cecily has a sharp sarcasm and sense of humor. Talking about Miss Prism's novel she says “I don't like novels that end happily. They depress me so much”; in an other scene she asserts that serious engagements have to brake off at least once.

    After all the mistaken identities and lies, at the end of the play all tensions are solved and the couples can get married. Furthermore, Jack turns out to be Algernon's older brother whose real name is Ernest. Generally, just like Cecily, I don't like happy endings. Although I find the last lines of the book very clever. Jack/Ernest says that he "realized for the first time the vital importance of being earnest”. This sentence has differents meanings. It can means that Jack has finally learned the importance of living honestly or that he is happy about his name so he can marry Gwendolen in a socially acceptable way. I prefer the first solution: Jack at last appreciates the importance of sincerity in his life and marriage.

    I really enjoyed reading this book. The play is full of wit and funny scenes. For example, Algernon says “Divorces are made in heaven” instead of “Marriages are made in heaven”; Gwendolen's mother, LadyBracknell, claims that “to lose one parent is unfortunate, to lose both seems like carelesness”. I think that's the reason why Wilde subtitles the play “A trivial comedy for serious people”.

    When I was younger, I've read the only novel Wilde has written: “The Picture of Dorian Grey”. It still is one of my favourite books. Considering that I liked both books I'm curious to read “The Ballad of Reading Goal”. It was written by Wilde during his years of exile and talks about the inhuman prison conditions that the writer has experimented himself. I think I might read it during my summer holiday.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 04-May-2019 at 21:54. Reason: Marked up the missing spaces

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Review and opinion about the "Importance of Being Earnest"

    Ponyo, when you copy and paste text into the forum, it loses some of the spaces between words. As you can see by my markups in red in post #1, that happened to your post. Please click on "Edit Post" and add all those missing spaces, change the text colour back to black, and save the changes.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Junior Member
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    #3

    Re: Review and opinion about the "Importance of Being Earnest"

    I have read the text before posting it and the missing spaces were not there. Is the problem solved now?

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Review and opinion about the "Importance of Being Earnest"

    Quote Originally Posted by ponyo View Post
    I have read the text before posting it and the missing spaces were not there. Is the problem solved now?
    The glitch in the software means that the spaces don't disappear until after you post. That's why it's always important to proofread a post both before and after you submit it to the forum, so you have time to edit it. Thank you for making those corrections.

    What are you going to do with your piece when it's ready?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. Junior Member
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    #5

    Re: Review and opinion about the "Importance of Being Earnest"

    What are you going to do with your piece when it's ready?
    I'm preparing an English exam. I have to bring a book and they will make answers about it. I'm trying to make practice with the topic, I'll use the essay to study. Is this a problem?
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 04-May-2019 at 22:22. Reason: Fixed quote box

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Review and opinion about the "Importance of Being Earnest"

    I think it is a very clever and interesting book. You shouldn't refer to a play as a 'book', even if that's the form it comes in. Imagine "Macbeth is a great book!" We just don't say it that way. It's a play.

    ... in Cecily's case even before she has even met her fiance. Is this a typo?

    As said mentioned, she invents the engagement with Ernest.

    ... serious engagements have to brake break off at least once.

    After all the mistaken identities and lies, at the end of the play all tensions are solved resolved and the couples can get married.

    This sentence has different
    smeanings.

    I really enjoyed reading this play; it The play is full of wit and funny scenes.

    “to lose one parent is unfortunate, to lose both seems like carele
    ssness”. You need to be very careful when quoting from a book or play or poem. This is not how the line goes.

    When I was younger, I I've read the only novel Wilde has written wrote: “The Picture of Dorian Grey”. It still is one of my favourite books. Considering that I liked both books I'm curious

    that the writer has experimented
    experienced himself.


    To call a play a book once may be regarded as a misfortune; to do it three times looks like carelessness.

  7. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Review and opinion about the "Importance of Being Earnest"

    Two things. The phrase their loved once should be their loved ones. Are both of them named Ernest?

    One more thing. That first paragraph is still extremely long.
    Not a professional teacher

  8. Junior Member
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    #8

    Re: Review and opinion about the "Importance of Being Earnest"

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post

    To call a play a book once may be regarded as a misfortune; to do it three times looks like carelessness.
    You are right. I wrongly thought I could use it as a synonym to avoid repeating the words play and comedy.
    Thank you so much for you time and corrections.

  9. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Review and opinion about the "Importance of Being Earnest"

    Quote Originally Posted by ponyo View Post
    I have read the “Importance of Being Earnest” recently. I think it is a (no article here) very clever and interesting. book.

    The play
    It was written in 1894 by Oscar Wilde and it tells the story of two gentlemen, Jack and Algernon, who lie about their identities in order to escape from their duties and deceive their loved once ones.

    Jack and Algernon desperately desire to marry Gwendolen and Cecily who
    both believe that the gentlemen's their boyfriend's name is Ernest.

    In this comedy Wilde attacks the social conventions of the Victorian society.
    The upper classes in fact are only interested in wealth and family status. It's not important who you are but who you look like. (The blue part doesn't make sense.)
    You don't need to keep calling it anything so there doesn't need to be repetition. See above (with some other corrections and comments).
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  10. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Review and opinion about the "Importance of Being Earnest"

    Quote Originally Posted by ponyo View Post



    I really enjoyed reading this book. The play is full of witticisms and funny scenes. For example, Algernon says “Divorces are made in heaven” instead of “Marriages are made in heaven”; Gwendolen's mother, LadyBracknell, says that “to lose one parent is unfortunate, to lose both seems like carelessness." I think that's why Wilde subtitles the play "A trivial comedy for serious people".

    When I was younger, I read the only novel Wilde wrote: “The Picture of Dorian Grey”. It still is one of my favourite books. Considering that I liked both books, I'd like to read “The Ballad of Reading Goal”. It was written by Wilde during his years of exile and talks about the inhuman prison conditions that the writer experienced himself. I think I might read it during my summer holiday.
    Interesting. Some of it's a little confusing, especially the part where you say you liked a book you haven't read.
    Last edited by Tarheel; 05-May-2019 at 13:25.
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