The Importance of Being Earnest vs The Bear, a Joke in One Act: Compare & Contrast
- Date:Nov 03, 2020
- Category:The Importance of Being Earnest
- Topic:The Importance of Being Earnest Compare & Contrast
In this play, Wilde intends to discuss morality as an important aspect of human life. Just like in every place, Victorian society has imposed very stringent rules about what the people living there should or should not do. However, instead of bringing a clear and straightforward discussion on this matter, Wilde makes it appear so paradoxical especially by focusing on an amoral protagonist who intentionally leads a double life as he pursues fulfillment in his life. On the other hand, characters like Gwendolen Fairfax are very much concerned about the ethical and moral values of the society which determines their life and decisions regarding important issues like marriage.
2. Are the characters depicted as individuals or as stock characters? (Especially consider Mrs. Bracknell–what kind of character is she?)
What is Wilde satirizing or parodying in the play? Is the plot original or is it predictable? (Would you predict Jack is going to win or lose Gwendolen? Why?)
Rather than Cecily Cardew who features as the most realistic character, the rest of the characters in the play are stock characters. They portray the traits of fictitious people who hold certain known values in society. For instance, Mrs. Bracknell holds the views of aristocrats. She is a typical aristocrat who treats people based on their social class. For example, she dictates to her daughter the kind of suitors accepts their hand in marriage. For this reason, the play becomes so predictable. In fact, right from the beginning, the audience can predict that Ernest will eventually marry her lovely Fairfax. She had stated that she would not fall for anything short of earnest which Jack later becomes at the end of the play.
3. As seen in the play, what does Wilde’s view of people seem to be?
According to Wilde, the human being is a very sophisticated creature. They have a lot of aspirations to make in life that might compel them to be immoral in character. This is evidenced in Jack, Mrs. Bracknell, Fairfax, and Angerlon whose aspirations make them lead selfish, witty, prejudicial, and self-centered lifestyles. It is such an attitude that makes people like Jack to lead a double life while in London and Hertfordshire.
The Bear, a Joke in One Act
- Carefully read The Bear, a Joke in One Act by Anton Chekhov and in one paragraph, explain why and how it strikes you as funny. Use the drama terms associated with this assignment (Assignment 2) to compose your answer.
Having read The Bear, a Joke in One Act, I would like to point out that it is a very funny play. I was pleased by the manner Chekhov used the elements of satire and paradox to mock the character traits of Luka and Elena Popova. Although he is misogyny, Luka should have displayed some courtesy and sympathy to Elena. It really saddens to see him mock a widow who mourns her late husband and pressurizes her to settle the debt owed to him by the diseased. On the other hand, the author satirically mocks the conduct of Elena who still locks herself indoors to mourn her late husband even moths after he passes on. However, she is ignorant because, as we later learn, her husband did not love her. In fact, he cheated on her. This implies that her death should not horrify Elena to that extent.