Sample essay topic, essay writing: A Marxist Criticism On "the Importance Of Being Earnest" - 1325 words
A Marxist Criticism on 'The Importance of Being Earnest' 'Excuse me Geoffrey, could you get me some more water. I'm terriblythirsty, and the weather out here isn't doing any good for my complexion.'declares the man as he sighs in exhaustion. 'Right away sir, anything else?' proclaims the servant. 'No that will be all.' says the man as he waves off the servant. So is this the scene of yesteryear's society or one of today's, well inactuality it can be either.
In today's world the rich still rely on butlers andmaids. It seems to be a practice that will always exist in this world, but thequestion largely is not on their jobs, but if they are deemed of a differentclass, and sadly to say yes. In today's world it seems that class is still ahuge part of the world order, and moreover it seems that there will always bethe rich and poor, the owner and the worker. This is even demonstrated by theliterature of our time and that of other era's, such as the play 'The Importanceof Being Earnest' by Oscar Wilde. In this play Wilde display's the classstructure with a different and interesting twist. He makes a reflection on thesociety with his own sense of humor, but however it still leaves a very goodopportunity to make a Marxist critique about the way the class structureinfluences the play
He leaves room for these critiques when he writes aboutthe servants, the nobles, and the middle class. His view on society and classis very evident on the way the servants are portrayed. ''I don't know that I am much interested in your family life, Lane'' ''No sir; it's not a very interesting subject. I never think of itmyself.'' In this passage from the play it is very clear that Wilde likes to givehis characters some life, but however it seemed that he was giving the servantsa bit too much, but nevertheless it does establish very well the position ofthose servants. In the society Wilde is presenting it seems that the place ofthe servant was not only for manual labor, but also to provide conversation, andto compliment the employer's personalities.
In the story the idea of class wasdemonstrated by the interaction between Lane and Algernon even though Lane waswitty he did know his place as a servant and throughout the play the servantswere an excellent reminder that class structure did exist. Wilde's idea of awitty servant has even spawned off into today's society with television sitcomssuch as 'The Fresh Prince of Bel - Air' and 'The Nanny'. In these shows theclass structure is inherent, but the gap between master and servant is smaller. That is one of the things that Wilde seemed to make apparent, one can haveservants, but the gap between doesn't have to be that large. There can be classstructure in the world, but the need for class discrimination doesn't need to bethere, and another interesting critique can be made of the nobles of that time. In the Victorian period, and today's nobles exist.
These are people whoare of noble birth right and is only passed on from generation to generation. It is a well respected position, but the difference between the nobles oftoday's day and the older ones is the power that they have. In today's time thenobles have little power only respect, but in the Victorian period the power wasstarting to diminish but it still existed. The characters in the play who wereof noble birth did indeed know how to use that power. Well when one makes a Marxist criticism it can't be solely based on thestory's view of the servants, but however one needs to also look at the way thenobility are viewed. In Oscar Wilde's play he seems to make almost a mockery ofthe nobility. When one sees the way the nobles are portrayed one will thinkthis is a sarcasm on the nobles, but however if one examines it closer he/shemay realize this is closer to the truth than previous accounts of the nobles. In the play Oscar Wilde does not hold back in fears he would offend anyone hewrote a play to entertain, but he also did an excellent job on reflecting howthe nobles are.
Firstly he displays the character of Algernon, who is, quitefrankly, a languid in debt young man, but nevertheless he is still a noble. With this character Wilde show's the reader that all nobles aren't perfect andcan be more flawed than the average person, and portrayed was the fact that therich and noble sometimes seem to abuse that position and end up in a deeper holethan most others. Then there is his Aunt Augusta, who is a very powerfulcharacter. Aunt Augusta in her own rights is the dominant persona in the play. She holds the cards and plays them at her own discretion. Her character revealsto the audience that in nobility there isn't just the man who controls things, but in many cases it is the female. She takes over the role of leader and makesfor an interesting view on the female aspect of nobility, but however there isanother aspect to female nobility, and that is inherent in Gwendolyn.
Shepossesses all the attributes of, plain and simply, a snob. She has the beauty, the upbringing and the turned up nose of a noble. She symbolizes a part ofnobility that most people will not talk about, but however Wilde does talk andbetter yet he reveals all of the little quirks of the noble class. In Gwendolynis the part of the class where, nobility has turned from respect and prestigeand into vanity. She has abused the prestige she has and turned into a vainquest to be looked upon and desired.
It seems that the Victorian class hadlittle class in the nobles, but however there is one last class to look at. In the Victorian era a new class was being born that integrated the twodistinct upper class and lower class, that class was the Bourgeoisie, or themiddle class. Wilde put this new class into his play with grand success. Theywere a class of business men and investors, and from that spurned the characterJack. Jack was the character who not only symbolized the middle class, but healso carried the turmoil of, 'What class do I belong to?' He was from a lowerclass community, but had worked his way up to infringing on noble status. Hewanted to marry a noble but at the same time he wanted to keep his roots, thisis excellent symbolism for actual class struggle, and when one views this from aMarxist viewpoint, then this is a grand criticism to be made, because throughoutthe whole play Jack ponders this question, and its symbolism is too great to bemissed.
The entire play is a reflection upon class struggle. However hisstruggle was not as difficult as he had assumed because in the end he discovers, he is of noble birth, s thus leaving him with an easier decision, and moreoverthis is another support for the nobility taking the easy way out, and notstriving to accomplish they're goals with arduous work. All in all the classespresented in this book lent itself to a Marxist criticism. In the play 'The Importance of Being Earnest' were many facets thatcould have been criticized by numerous viewpoint's, but however the mostthorough would be that of the Marxist view because it allows the reader to takea step back and see the play for all it is, and it is true that the play's mainplot line is that of s relationship between a man and woman, but however theunderlying real issue is that of their class and society. The play makes agreat example for a Marxist criticism on the effect of classes on literature. Wilde's own wit and intellect make for an excellent view of the classes of theprevious era.
It is a work that will be a not only viewed as a comedic triumph, but also as a social one as well.
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