Monday, May 11, 2020

Satire Of Being Earnest And Jane Austen s Pride And...

Nineteenth century European society was characterized by organized religion and a rigid class system. Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice use satire to reveal faults in these elements of society. Many of Wilde’s criticisms of society are provoked by his closeted homosexuality. He portrays religion as a restricting, meaningless convention and depicts the aristocratic class as a hypocritical and unempathetic lot. Austen similarly finds faults in these areas of society, but her opinions stem from her experiences as a nineteenth century woman. Her criticisms of religion are directed toward the clergyman and she declares the aristocratic class to be both egotistical and image obsessed. Both authors satirize the same systems and traditions of society to raise awareness of faults within each area, but their critiques of each feature is different. Additionally, Wilde uses various literary techniques as methods of satirizat ion while Austen only uses her characters as sources of criticism. Wilde uses burlesque and wordplay to expose the limiting and inconsequential nature of religion, while Austen’s Mr. Collins demonstrates the corruption of the clergy. Before Algernon and Jack devise their plan to use christenings to gain a Christian second name, there is no indication that they are religious. They are only interested in religion because they realize they stand to gain secular benefits from it. In accordance with the plan, Jack

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