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Compare the relationship of Jack and Gwendolen with that of Algernon and Cecily in...

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salehi1 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 16, 2013 at 6:59 PM via web

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Compare the relationship of Jack and Gwendolen with that of Algernon and Cecily in Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest.

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted April 16, 2013 at 7:20 PM (Answer #1)

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It is interesting, but the best way to compare the two relationships is to compare the females' desires with the males' choices. Both Gwendolen and Cecily want to marry men named Ernest. Along those lines, both Algy and Jack are willing to change their birth names to "Ernest" by being confirmed again by Mr. Chasuble, the minister. Both Gwendolen and Cecily are bound by English law and tradition which require the approval of their guardians in order to be married. Both of the men are not considered to be of high quality by the ladies' guardians. The women both think that their men have been truthful and honest with them, but they both go about "bunburrying" in order to avoid reality and to live out secondary lives. Luckily, both relationships seem to be based on real love which is able to forgive and to forget minor indiscretions so that once a way is paved for the problems to be resolved, they can ultimately be married.

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