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Gwendolen and Cecily in the Importance of Being Earnest

The Victorian age is considered to be one of the most prudent ages throughout of history. It is mainly based on your appearance. This means that the most important thing back then was to present as much as perfect as you can. It is crucial for them to be very appreciated by other people. This age can be described as very hypocrite because no one is perfect so lying and pretending in order to present as a “saint” is absurd but in that age it meant everything.

This essay will discuss the role of women in that age compared with this age.

It will also show the vanity and insecurity of women and try to explain if that really remained even for today. Miss Gwendolen Fairfax is a member of upper class society and a perfect example of a beautiful, rich lady who is most likely bored by her life but she will try to make her best to look good in front of everyone.

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She needs to stay in fashion “Sugar? No, thank you. Sugar is not fashionable any more. ” She is in love with Jack but in the beginning she is mostly concerned around his name because the name Earnest itself shows great honesty and decency.

When she finds out that he is really named Jack she has some doubts around him which is absurd because name has nothing to do with the person itself and the love you show to each other. Yet, it is another meaningless but in the Victorian age very important fact.

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Cecily Cardew, also a beautiful, young lady who is a guardian of Jack is a contrast to Gwendolen. She lives at the country and she is not that obsessed with appearance. She has good manners but when compared to Gwendolen the conclusion can be that she has a bit of the wild side.

She was very cheeky toward Gwendolen but it was all played in a polite way. Cecily thinks that she is in love with Jack’s brother, so called Earnest because she heard lots of stories about him which gave her an opinion that he is a very passionate and “wicked” person. This wickedness is what really attracts her which actually makes a distinction between her and Gwendolen – she is not that obsessed with finding a virtuous husband. She thinks that Earnest’s recklessness is very attractive and high spirited.

The most important thing above all is the name Earnest which is also in her case essential for starting a marriage. This is the main link between her and Gwendolen. There is song called It’s a man’s world, and it was written and composed in 1966. It has been a long time since the Victorian era and it has also been a long time since this song was composed. The point is, although lots of things changed during the history one remained even for today – women are still not equal with men but men will always desire women. Men truly rule the world but only woman can give birth of even a better man.

Maybe the men were afraid of the women so they were condemned on having a boring life (the lucky ones; the aristocrats). Things started to change just after the Hastings in 1870s and petition for women’s right to vote. Maybe it was not such a critical age for women when it is previewed from a different angle. Indeed, they had no rights, honesty and appearance, which was already mentioned as a crucial thing in the Victorian age, were important but they had also no high expectations of them. Women were treated as ladies. This term “lady” is much different than today.

First, it has a title and aristocrat meaning but it also has a different meaning and it is – women are fragile creatures which should be supplied with all goods and they deserve a decent provider (husband) who will take care of them. Their only job is to be pure, always by their husband’s side and to take care of their children. Women today are expected to be pure but also to provide money, take care of the children and there is that constant pressure of competing with men and trying to find their place in a “man’s world”. How absurd to talk of the equality of the sexes! Where questions of self-sacrifice are concerned, men are infinitely beyond us. ” The tensions between Cecily and Gwendolen are typical. Whenever woman feels threatened by another woman’s presence and beauty she attacks. The argument between the two of them is displayed on a polite way because they are after all ladies and ladies do not start a fight like men do. It would maybe be settled in a different way today because fashion in sugar, bread and butter seems trivial now but the concept is same.

Women are either very friendly or they call each other every name in the book. “(… ) they will be calling each other sister. Women only do that when they have called each other a lot of other things first. ” The conclusion of this essay is that women were not satisfied when they had no rights back then and they are also not satisfied in this age. It will never change. Also, it is in woman’s nature to judge other women just so she could feel safe. This remained until today.

Cite this page

Gwendolen and Cecily in the Importance of Being Earnest. (2018, Aug 29). Retrieved from

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