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The Importance of Being Analytical

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Currently in the 11 DP English class we are studying the play The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. To give you a little background story The Importance of Being Earnest is a story set in the Victorian Era of England during which the main characters Jack and Algernon get themselves into minor trouble by having two identities so that they do not have to always follow the strict social conduct. One identity is for business and the other for party.

Now that you have a little bit of background here was my reaction when I finished reading the 3 act play, “What? That’s it? That’s the whole story? That was the plot? Nothing else happens?” I even looked through all the appendices in hopes of finding the rest of the play, an epilogue maybe that would make it more interesting, but I found nothing. Obviously after reading it during the Winter break I was not excited to go back to English class and have a whole unit scrutinizing a what seemed like a plotless story to me.

But boy was I wrong about EVERYTHING. Before jumping right into the play we studied a little bit about the ridiculousness of some the norms of the Victorian Era as well as who Oscar Wilde really was to give some context to the play. Afterwards we started reading the play as a class, stopping every page or so to go through what Wilde really meant. After a couple of lessons I realized that what I thought was the most boring thing I had ever read turned out to be a brilliant criticism of society, full of double-entendres, witty repartee, and ridiculously superficial characters which overall made for a surprisingly hilarious read.

So lesson learned: don’t judge a book by its cover or by your first read of it. I have finally realized the importance of being analytical.

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