Module 4 Product
By Colby Bond
Meaningful Quotations from "The Importance of Being Earnest"
- "Lane's views on marriage seem somewhat lax. Really, if the lower orders don't set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them? They seem, as a class, to have absolutely no sense of moral responsibility." (1.17)
- "I'm sure the programme will be delightful, after a few expurgations. French songs I cannot possibly allow. People always seem to think that they are improper, and either look shocked, which is vulgar, or laugh, which is worse. But German sounds a thoroughly respectable language, and indeed, I believe is so". (1.132)
This quote is spoken by Bracknell and illustrates the conservative views in this society. She makes it come off that French music doesn't sound as good, but in actuality, she is just refusing to play French music for political reasons, which I find rather closed-minded.
- "Lady Bracknell: As a matter of form, Mr. Worthing, I had better ask you if Miss Cardew has any little fortune? Jack: Oh! about a hundred and thirty thousand pounds in the Funds. That is all. Goodbye, Lady Bracknell. So pleased to have seen you. Lady Bracknell: [Sitting down again] A moment, Mr. Worthing. A hundred and thirty thousand pounds! And in the Funds! Miss Cardew seems to me a most attractive young lady, now that I look at her." (3.69-71)
- "Algernon: I love hearing my relations abused. It is the only thing that makes me put up with them at all. Relations are simply a tedious pack of people, who haven't got the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die." (1.222)
- "Miss Prism: [Calling] Cecily, Cecily! Surely such a utilitarian occupation as the watering of flowers is rather Moulton's duty than yours? Especially at a moment when intellectual pleasures await you. Your German grammar is on the table" (2.1).
- "Jack: [Slowly and hesitatingly] Gwendolen – Cecily – it is very painful for me to be forced to speak the truth. It is the first time in my life that I have ever been reduced to such a painful position, and I am really quite inexperienced in doing anything of the kind. However, I will tell you quite frankly that I have no brother Ernest. I have no brother at all" (2.348).
- "Algernon: Well, in the first place girls never marry the men they flirt with. Girls don't think it right" (1.47).
- "Lady Bracknell: Mr. Worthing, I confess I feel somewhat bewildered by what you have just told me. To be born, or at any rate bred, in a hand bag, whether it had handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution. And I presume you know what that unfortunate movement led to? As for the particular locality in which the hand bag was found, a cloak-room at a railway station might serve to conceal a social indiscretion – has probably, indeed, been used for that purpose before now – but it could hardly be regarded as an assured basis for a recognised position in good society" (1.200-214).
- "Chasuble: Both these gentlemen have expressed a desire for immediate baptism.
Lady Bracknell: At their age? The idea is grotesque and irreligious! Algernon, I forbid you to be baptized. I will not hear of such excesses" (III.111-112).
- "Lady Bracknell: Pardon me, you are not engaged to any one. When you do become engaged to some one, I, or your father, should his health permit him, will inform you of the fact. An engagement should come on a young girl as a surprise, pleasant or unpleasant, as the case may be. It is hardly a matter that she could be allowed to arrange for herself . . . And now I have a few questions to put to you, Mr. Worthing." (1.172)
Meaningful Quotations from the Literary Criticism
- "Lady Bracknell links education of the poor with social unrest, fearing that the educated masses might forget their place and reject hierarchical class structure." (Schmidt)
- "Marriage, however, remained most women's primary goal and occupation." (Schmidt)
- "Finally, Miss Prism's conversation about christening the poor reveals an underlying anxiety about the sexuality and population growth of the working classes." (Schmidt)
Schmidt, Arnold. "An essay for The Importance of Being Earnest." Drama for Students. Detroit: Gale. Literature Resource Center. Web. 29 May 2015.
Wilde, Oscar. The Importance of Being Earnest. New York: Dover Publications, 1990. Print.