What is Oscar Wilde's attitude towards Socialism and the lower class in "The Importance of Being Earnest"?What is Oscar Wilde's attitude towards Socialism and the lower class in "The Importance of...

What is Oscar Wilde's attitude towards Socialism and the lower class in "The Importance of Being Earnest"?

What is Oscar Wilde's attitude towards Socialism and the lower class in "The Importance of Being Earnest"?

Asked on by s0090

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Well, I don't necessarily think this play is directly satirising the lower classes or Socialism, but there is one main quote that addresses the lower classes in Act I of this hilarious play, which comes from Algernon and seems to prevent an inversion of the class system. Note what he says:

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.

Algernon here clearly states that, in his opinion, the lower classes should take a moral lead as they are a kind of example for the upper classes like himself and other members of the aristocracy. Clearly Algernon points to the corruption of his own class, which is amusing, especially as he seems to have no issue with the evident double standards of the aristocracy.

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