The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde, is a comedic play that is set in the Victorian Age at around the 1890s. This book takes place in London England. .
The Importance of Being Earnest has many major characters. Jack Worthing is a friend of Algernon; he loves Gwendolen and believes his name is Earnest. Algernon Moncrieff is a good friend of Jack and a nephew of Lady Bracknell; he also falls in love with Cecily. Gwendolen Fairfax is the daughter of Lady Bracknell and she is in love with Jack. Cecily Cardew is Jack’s niece who falls in love with Algernon. Lady Bracknell is the aunt of Algernon and the mother of Gwendolen; she doesn’t approve of Jack.
To make life more interesting, Jack and Algernon create fictitious characters. Jack creates a brother, Earnest, for an excuse to travel from the country to the city and Algernon creates a friend, Bunbury, to leave the city for the country. Jack then meets Gwendolen and tells her his name is Earnest because she loves the name- they then fall in love. After that, Jack confesses the he was abandonded by his parents and left in a handbag; Lady Bracknell refuses to let Gwendolen marry Jack. Algernon meets Cecily after that, and pretends to be Jack’s brother Earnest because she loves the name as well. As the play progresses, Gwendolen and Cecily meet and talk together and realize over a heated argument that they might be engaged to the same guy. Algernon and Jack finally confess that they lied about their names and talk it over with the women. After Lady Bracknell finally gives marriage consent to Jack and Gwendolen, Jack finds out that he is the son of Lady Bracknell’s sister and older brother of Algernon. Then, to everyones surprise, both Algernon and Jack find out they are named Earnest because their father in the military was named Earnest. The play ends on a peaceful note and they live happily ever after.
One major theme in The Importance of Being Earnest is the use of satire.