What commonly accepted ideas are satirized in the Importance of Being Earnest?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Oscar Wilde's play, the Importance of Being Earnest, satirizing many conventions of Victorian social life and culture. One obvious target of the satire is love at first sight, but there are many more.

Algernon's interactions with Lane satirize the concepts of the "noble savage" and the romantic idea that poverty brings with it moral superiority.

Cecilia and Ms. Prism are both involved in several conversations which satirize the "new learning" (focussed on science rather than humanities) and "new woman" (women who aspire to careers and authoritative cultural roles). The Vicar, or course, satirizes the worldliness of the Church of England.

The image of the writer are inspired but absentminded is satirized in Prism's novel-writing and absent-mindedness.

Lady Bracknell is used to satirize social conventions and unmask the hypocrisy of high society.

The themes of dual identities and foundlings make fun of conventional elements of the plots of the Victorian sensation novels and melodramas.