Part 1: A Comedy of Manners: The Importance of Being Earnest(E2020)

Categories: Comedy
Which of these are features of a comedy of manners? Check all that apply. 1. witty wordplay 2. scientific explanations 3. concern with appearances 4. differences between social classes 5. differences between country and city life
1. witty wordplay 3. concern with appearances 4. differences between social classes 5. differences between country and city life
Read the excerpt from Act I of The Importance of Being Earnest. [Algernon.] [Jack puts out his hand to take a sandwich. Algernon at once interferes.] Please don't touch the cucumber sandwiches. They are ordered specially for Aunt Augusta.

[Takes one and eats it.] Jack. Well, you have been eating them all the time. Algernon. That is quite a different matter. She is my aunt. [Takes plate from below.] Have some bread and butter.

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The bread and butter is for Gwendolen. Gwendolen is devoted to bread and butter. How is humor used to critique the double standard of manners in society? A. Jack attempts to take a sandwich. B. Jack makes Algernon angry by eating bread and butter. C. Algernon scolds Jack for eating sandwiches while eating them himself, satisfying his own needs. D. Algernon offers Jack Gwendolen's bread and butter because he knows that Jack loves Gwendolen.

C. Algernon scolds Jack for eating sandwiches while eating them himself, satisfying his own needs.
The tone of Oscar Wilde's critique in The Importance of Being Earnest is A. aggressive. B. serious. C. humorous. D. angry.
C. humorous.
Read the excerpt from Act I of The Importance of Being Earnest. Jack. I am in love with Gwendolen.
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I have come up to town expressly to propose to her. Algernon. I thought you had come up for pleasure? . . . I call that business. Jack. How utterly unromantic you are! How is humor used in this excerpt to effectively critique marriage? A. Jack confesses that he has come to the city to propose. B. Jack scolds Algernon for not being romantic. C. Algernon pokes fun at his friend Jack for falling in love and becoming interested in Gwendolen. D. Algernon pokes fun at the fact that marriage in his society often is based on social rules, not romance.

D. Algernon pokes fun at the fact that marriage in his society often is based on social rules, not romance.
Which line from The Importance of Being Earnest shows the difference between city and country living? A. "Why cucumber sandwiches? Why such reckless extravagance in one so young? Who is coming to tea?"
B. "Yes, that is all very well; but I am afraid Aunt Augusta won't quite approve of your being here."
C. "When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one is in the country one amuses other people. It is excessively boring."
D. "If you don't take care, your friend Bunbury will get you into a serious scrape some day."
C. "When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one is in the country one amuses other people. It is excessively boring."
Read the excerpt from Act I of The Importance of Being Earnest. Jack. My dear Algy, you talk exactly as if you were a dentist. It is very vulgar to talk like a dentist when one isn't a dentist. It produces a false impression. This excerpt best illustrates which feature of a comedy of manners? A. witty wordplay B. a commentary on marriage C. a comparison of country and city life D. concern with appearance over morality
A. witty wordplay
Read the excerpt from Act I of The Importance of Being Earnest. [Lady Bracknell.] I have always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing. Which do you know? Jack. [After some hesitation.] I know nothing, Lady Bracknell. Lady Bracknell. I am pleased to hear it. I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. What does Wilde's use of humor critique in this excerpt? A. marriage B. education C. tradition D. government
B. education
Read the excerpt from Act I of The Importance of Being Earnest. Algernon. [Languidly.] I don't know that I am much interested in your family life, Lane. Lane. No, sir; it is not a very interesting subject. I never think of it myself. Algernon. Very natural, I am sure. That will do, Lane, thank you. Lane. Thank you, sir. [Lane goes out.] Algernon. Lane's views on marriage seem somewhat lax. Really, if the lower orders don't set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them? They seem, as a class, to have absolutely no sense of moral responsibility. How does Wilde use this conversation to poke fun at the class divisions of his day? A. Algernon holds his servant to an unreasonable standard because he expects the lower classes to be good examples for the upper class. B. Algernon excuses his servant after Lane provides refreshments, and the two men chat about marriage and family life. C. Lane defends marriage while Algernon jokes about it. D. Lane lectures Algernon about his disrespectful attitude.
A. Algernon holds his servant to an unreasonable standard because he expects the lower classes to be good examples for the upper class.
Read the excerpt from Act I of The Importance of Being Earnest. Jack. Gwendolen, will you marry me? [Goes on his knees.] Gwendolen. Of course I will, darling. How long you have been about it! I am afraid you have had very little experience in how to propose. Jack. My own one, I have never loved any one in the world but you. Gwendolen. Yes, but men often propose for practice. I know my brother Gerald does. All my girl-friends tell me so. How does this dialogue poke fun at a society that takes marriage too lightly? A. Jack is joking about his marriage proposal. B. Jack tells Gwendolen that he loves no one else. C. Gwendolen is happy that Jack has finally asked her to marry him. D. Gwendolen says that her brother proposes to all her friends.
D. Gwendolen says that her brother proposes to all her friends.
Read the excerpt from Act I of The Importance of Being Earnest. Lady Bracknell. Well, I must say, Algernon, that I think it is high time that Mr. Bunbury made up his mind whether he was going to live or to die. This shilly-shallying with the question is absurd. . . . I should be much obliged if you would ask Mr. Bunbury, from me, to be kind enough not to have a relapse on Saturday, for I rely on you to arrange my music for me. It is my last reception, and one wants something that will encourage conversation, particularly at the end of the season when every one has practically said whatever they had to say, which, in most cases, was probably not much. What aspect of Lady Bracknell's behavior does Wilde use to poke fun at the importance placed on frivolous events in formal society? A. her concern with a party instead of Mr. Bunbury's health B. her interest in playing classical music at her reception C. her jealousy over Algernon's friendship with the sickly Mr. Bunbury D. her concern about the health of Algernon's friend
A. her concern with a party instead of Mr. Bunbury's health

Part 1: A Comedy of Manners: The Importance of Being Earnest

How is Wilde making fun of the Victorian rules for entertaining guests?

[Jack puts out his hand to take a sandwich. Algernon at once interferes.]
[Algernon.] Please don't touch the cucumber sandwiches. They are ordered specially for Aunt Augusta. [Takes one and eats it.]
Jack. Well, you have been eating them all the time.
Algernon. That is quite a different matter. She is my aunt. [Takes plate from below.] Have some bread and butter. The bread and butter is for Gwendolen. Gwendolen is devoted to bread and butter.
Jack. [Advancing to table and helping himself.] And very good bread and butter it is too.

He shows that people will go to great lengths to get around rules in order to satisfy personal desires.
Which features of a comedy of manners are present in the passage? Check all that apply.

Algernon. Lane's views on marriage seem somewhat lax. Really, if the lower orders don't set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them? They seem, as a class, to have absolutely no sense of moral responsibility.

An illustration of class differences and a commentary on marriage
How does Wilde use Algernon's behavior to make fun of proper behavior or customs?
By having Algernon behave rudely while Algernon is criticizing Jack for behaving rudely
Which feature of a comedy of manners is present in the passage?

[Algernon.] Besides, your name isn't Jack at all; it is Ernest.
Jack. It isn't Ernest; it's Jack.
Algernon. You have always told me it was Ernest. I have introduced you to every one as Ernest. You answer to the name of Ernest. You look as if your name was Ernest. You are the most earnest-looking person I ever saw in my life. It is perfectly absurd your saying that your name isn't Ernest. . . .
Jack. Well, my name is Ernest in town and Jack in the country, and the cigarette case was given to me in the country.

The differences between country and city life
Which feature of a comedy of manners is present in the passage?
A commentary on marriage
Why is Jack confused in this passage?
Jack does not know if Lady Bracknell objects to the location of his house or the rule that says the location is unfashionable.
What does Jack's confusion suggest about the rules that govern Victorian society?
If the rule can easily be changed, then it is meaningless.
This excerpt best illustrates which feature of a comedy of manners?

Jack. My dear Algy, you talk exactly as if you were a dentist. It is very vulgar to talk like a dentist when one isn't a dentist. It produces a false impression.

Witty wordplay
What does Wilde's use of humor critique in this excerpt?

[Lady Bracknell.] I have always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing. Which do you know?

Jack. [After some hesitation.] I know nothing, Lady Bracknell.

Lady Bracknell. I am pleased to hear it. I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever.

Education
The tone of Oscar Wilde's critique in The Importance of Being Earnest is
Humorous
Wilde uses Lady Bracknell's words to poke fun at marriage by having her

Lady Bracknell. Pardon me, you are not engaged to any one. When you do become engaged to some one, I, or your father, should his health permit him, will inform you of the fact. An engagement should come on a young girl as a surprise, pleasant or unpleasant, as the case may be. It is hardly a matter that she could be allowed to arrange for herself . . .

Imply that young women do not have a choice in their own marriages.
How is humor used in this excerpt to effectively critique marriage?
Algernon pokes fun at the fact that marriage in his society often is based on social rules, not romance.
Which of these are features of a comedy of manners? Check all that apply.
Witty wordplay, concern with appearances, differences between social classes and differences between country and city life
How does Wilde use this conversation to poke fun at the class divisions of his day?
Algernon holds his servant to an unreasonable standard because he expects the lower classes to be good examples for the upper class.
Which line from The Importance of Being Earnest best makes this point?

Oscar Wilde's humor points out that many people are not who they appear to be, which is a critique on the emphasis placed on appearance in society.

"Well, my name is Ernest in town and Jack in the country . . ."
Which line from The Importance of Being Earnest highlights the divide between the social classes in Victorian society?
"Really, if the lower orders don't set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them?"
Which line from The Importance of Being Earnest shows the difference between city and country living?
"When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one is in the country one amuses other people. It is excessively boring."

References

Updated: Dec 12, 2023
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Part 1: A Comedy of Manners: The Importance of Being Earnest(E2020). (2017, Dec 08). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/part-1-a-comedy-of-manners-the-importance-of-being-earneste2020-essay

Part 1: A Comedy of Manners: The Importance of Being Earnest(E2020) essay
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