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How are Gwendolen and Cecily alike? How are they different?

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nahila | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 9, 2009 at 3:13 AM via web

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How are Gwendolen and Cecily alike? How are they different?

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 9, 2009 at 3:35 AM (Answer #1)

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Differences:

Cecily is upper-middle class while Gwendolyn is upper class

Cecily is a country girl, Gwen is a city person

Cecily is younger, less sophisticated, but just as snobby as Gwendolyn.

Cecily is under the guardianship of Jack while Gwen lives with her parents (her mother is Lady Bracknell)

It appears, however, that Cecily is indeed richer than Gwendolyn, since her dowry is very high, and Lady Bracknell considers that a plus when accepting her to marry Algernon.

Similarities-

They both have the fixation with the name "Earnest"

Both need permission to marry who they want.

They are both not as angelic as they first appear- both have ways to manipulate a conversation.

They are jealous and catty (to each other, at first)

You can almost safely say that they represent the image that Oscar Wilde often gave most (but not all) of his female characters: That of an ornamental, cute, annoying, pervasive, and airheaded person.

 

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