Discuss the themes of love and marriage in Oscar Wilde's "The Importance Of Being Earnest."

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Love and Marriage are two completely different things for the characters in Wilde's play as well in the Victorian society in which they lived. First, lovers seemed to fall in love at first sight; or rather, love was based on physical attraction because it seemed to happen so quickly. Marriage, though, is more complex than just falling in love. Lady Bracknell is the perfect representation of the views of marriage at the time because she considers interviewing Jack and asking him about his income, education, and family background or lineage. Parents had more influence and input when it came to marriage which made it seem like a business arrangement more than a merging of families and lives. By the end of the play, both love and business are blended seemingly equally even though the process of blending required miscommunication and lies; both of which make for a good comedy.


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