The original CliffsNotes study guides offer a look into critical elements and ideas within classic works of literature. The latest generation of titles in this series also feature glossaries and visual elements that complement the classic, familiar format.
CliffsNotes on The Importance of Being Earnest offers a concise look at this Victorian farce, which tweaks the complacency and aristocratic attitudes prevalent among the wealthy upper class of the time. Hidden identities, fierce repartee, underlying passions, and surprises punctuate this lively play.
This study guide shows, through its expert commentaries, just how three sets of lovers clear up mishap and misunderstandings and end up happily ever after. Other features that help you figure out this survey of Victorian social issues include
- A close look at the author's life, which itself was rife with scandal and ruin
- Summaries and commentaries, act by act
- Descriptive character analyses
- A character map that reveal key relationships
- Critical essays on Victorian views on compassion, religion, marriage, and more
- A review section that tests your knowledge, and suggested essay topics
Classic literature or modern-day treasure—you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
About the Author
SUSAN VAN KIRK holds a B.A. from Knox College and an M.Ed. from University of Illinois. She has taught English for 30 years in Monmouth, Illinois.
Table of Contents
Life and Background of the Playwright.
Wilde’s Early Years.
Education, Travel, and Celebrity.
Marriage and Commercial Success.
A Playwright with a Secret Life.
Disaster and Ruin.
Wilde’s Last Years.
Introduction to the Play.
List of Characters.
Act I—Part 1.
Act I—Part 2.
Act II—Part 1.
Act II—Part 2.
John (Jack) Worthing.
Algernon (Algy) Moncrieff.
Lady Augusta Bracknell.
Gwendolen Fairfax & Cecily Cardew.
Rev. Chasuble & Miss Prism.
Duty and Respectability.
The Absence of Compassion.
Passion and Morality.
Courtship and Marriage.
Perpetuating the Upper Class.
CliffsNotes Resource Center.