The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

The Importance of Being Earnest book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What use does Wilde make of the contrast between the city and the country life and values in The Importance of Being Earnest? This question needs an answer that describes the difference of city and country life and its values throughout the play.  So, there is no specific reference to Acts 1 or 2.  It is an essay question and requires at least 500-600 words, with examples from the play.    

Expert Answers info

shakespeareguru eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write561 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The contrast in a work of literature between the simple, pure innocence of country life versus the sophisticated, worldly excitement of city life, certainly wasn't a theme invented by Oscar Wilde.  As far back as Shakespeare's As You Like It (and probably farther), British authors have been making use of the contrast between the pastoral simplicity of the country life and those who live there and the worldliness of those who live the more fast-paced (corrupt?) city life.  So, Wilde knew what his audience would expect of characters found in these two locales.  And to some degree, he meets their...

(The entire section contains 317 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial