Bookworm Posts: The Importance Of Being Earnest

February 23, 2012

English as a subject, taught to us in school, was really droll. Most of the time, we were asked to focus on memorizing things that would fetch us greater marks, and practice the questions that could be asked of the stories we read rather than experience the true joy of them. In this turbulent time when scores played the role of money in our pseudo-society, we read an excerpt from the popular play 'The Importance Of Being Earnest' by Oscar Wilde. I wonder why they didn't cover the entire plot in our syllabus; the idea of providing us with just a part of it seems rather miserly now that I think about it.

Anyway, at the time, even after being under the hypnosis of the school system, I enjoyed the bit of the play I read. That was about 7 years back! A few weeks back the thought of it suddenly came to mind, and I decided to complete it (as mentioned in a previous post, don't ask me why I waited so long).

I have always enjoyed humor through sarcasm that shows itself in plots, and this play for one is dripping in it. Each character is exaggerated to extent of  pure absurdity, which probably makes it a perfect play to watch as well.

The name of the play is quite aptly kept. It is about a man who gets into a mess after assuming the name Earnest in certain situations. The confusion is heightened when his friend does the same, only to land in a mess of his own. By the end of the play, things are finally settled, once again illustrating the idea behind the name of the play. The characters are few, but each with an individual flair for drama. Whether it is the snooty Aunt Augusta or Algernon, who himself has an imaginary friend he uses to get out of annoying social gatherings; each one holds a significant place in one's mind. 

I also ended up finding out a bit about the author Oscar Wilde in the process of my read. The brilliant author and playwright seems to have had a pretty turbulent life; a topic that would probably require a separate post altogether. 

His work however, stands the test of time and continues to entertain us all. I plan to read many more of his work, including his only published novel 'The Picture Of Dorian Gray'. 

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