The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

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Explain the theme of dishonesty in society in The Importance of Being Earnest.  

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Dishonesty is the overarching theme of the whole play--after all, the title of the play is a specific reference.  To be earnest means to be honest.  Most of the characters in the play are dishonest--especially Jack and Algernon, and it is their dishonesty that creates the premise of the whole story.

Jack has been dishonest about telling his having a brother named Ernest who gets into all kinds of scrapes that require Jack to come to the city to solve.  In reality, Jack is just trying to get a break from his life in the country; and while in the city, he...

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