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Being Ernest

Explain how the theme Appearance vs. Reality is demonstrated in The Importance of Being Earnest. Adelle: The theme Appearance vs Reality is demonstrated in The Importance of Being Earnest by the fact that the characters appeared to be something they’re not. For example, Jack in the city is actually named Ernest. Ernest in the country is actually Algernon. Mackenzie: The character Jack Worthing, is known to be a man named Ernest Worthing in the city. Ernest is known to be witty, and endulges in the upper class life. However in the country, Jack goes by his given name, and is a caring guardian of his niece Cecily.

The book states, “From little Cecily, with her fondest love to her dear Uncle Jack. ” This supports the claim that Jack portrays himself differently in different places. Adelle: Also in the country, Jack claims to have a brother by the name Ernest worthing. To the people in the country, Ernest Worthing is known to have very negative characteristics. The book states, “You, I can see from your card, are Uncle Jack’s brother, my cousin Ernest, my wicked cousin Ernest. ” This supports claim that the appearance of Jack Worthing and Ernest Worthing is not the actual reality.

Mackenzie: I agree, Ernest Worthing is the same person as Jack. So for Jack to claim Ernest as a corrupt and terrible man does not agree with the reality of the situation. This ties in with the theme of Appearance Vs. Reality, because the way Jack portrays Ernest in the country does not agree with the way Jack portrays Ernest Worthing in the city Adelle: To add to that statement, the character Cecily alters her age when she goes to social gatherings by saying she is older than she is. As proof of this, on page 80 Cecily says, “Well, I am really only eighteen, but I always admit to twenty when I go to evening parties. This shows that Cecily’s reality is different than her appearance in some instances.

Mackenzie: Lady Bracknell states after Cecily says such that, “You are perfectly right in making some slight alteration. Indeed, no woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. ” Most people in this book are admitting to deception and lies. So the characters are very good at appearing to be something they’re not, showing the theme Appearance vs. Reality. 2. Jack / Ernest says “… it is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking the truth. ” Determine the irony of this statement.

Adelle: The irony of the statement is the fact that Jack/Ernest thought he was lying to Gwendolen by saying his name was Ernest. At the end of this book he finds out his name really was Ernest all along so really he has been truthful to Gwendolen. Mackenzie: Adding to that Gwendolen says on page 17 “… my ideal has always been to love someone of the name Ernest. ” And later on that same page Jack says “But you really don’t mean to say that you couldn’t love me if my name wasn’t Ernest? ” Adelle: In this part of the passage Gwendolen basically states she would only love a man named Ernest.

So the irony is that because Jack heard this, he decided to get christened with the name Ernest. However, his name was already Ernest so really he wouldn’t have to get christened. Mackenzie: Jack/Ernest also planned on “killing off” Ernest, his brother and going on as only Jack in the beginning of the book. This also adds to the irony of the book because Jack would be getting rid of his true name. Adelle: To support that Algernon on page 27 says “What of your brother? What of the profligate Ernest? ” To this jack responds “Oh before the end of the week I shall have gotten rid of him.

I’ll say he died in Paris of apoplexy. ” Mackenzie: This adds to the irony because if Jack were to “kill off” his alter ego he would be in turn “killing” his true name. 3. Define satire and classify The Importance of Being Earnest as satire. Explain what Wilde is satirizing about Victorian society and how he uses his play to make this statement. Satire: the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

Adelle: Wilde in the book the Importance of Being Earnest is satirizing how little truth there can be in relationships in the Victorian society. Oscar Wilde in his book shows how misleading and cunning the people in Victorian society can be. He shows that Jack, Algernon, and the rest of the characters lie and deceit each other Mackenzie: Wilde satires courtship in The Importance of Being Earnest. Wilde shows how quickly people are to engage and “fall in love” with each other. For example, almost immediately after Algernon (while playing the role of Ernest) meets Cecily, he asks her to marry him.

She in return says yes, and that she had already engaged him several times in her thoughts. Adelle: On page, 50 Algernon (playing the role of Ernest) “Cecily, ever since I first looked upon your wonderful and incomparable beauty, I have dared to love you wildly, passionately, devotedly, and hopelessly. ” This shows that the author satires love and romance in The Importance of Being Earnest because within that short amount of time, Algernon has promised to love Cecily with great passion. Mackenzie: Secondly, Gwendolen and Cecily decided that they would only marry the two men if their names were Ernest.

This also shows satire, because a name is insignificant to actual feelings. A Separate Peace By John Knowles 1. Explain how the theme Appearance vs. reality is demonstrated in A Separate Peace. Adelle: In the book A Separate Peace the theme Appearance vs. Reality is demonstrated on how Gene presents himself. He tries to make himself sound like a person who is nice and follows the rules but in the book we are shown that Gene was often jealous and angered very quickly. We saw him act out on this anger on page 137 “I shoved my foot against the rung of his chair and kicked.

Leper went over in his chair and collapsed against the floor. ” This was all because Leper called him out for purposely hurting his best friend Finny. Mackenzie: I agree, if the book were told by a different character, like Leper, Gene would be described very differently, and the “accidents” would not be told as accidents. Adelle: Also Gene makes Finny seem like a happy, good at everything, perfect person who has no inner struggles. Even after the accident which caused severe damage changing Finny’s life forever Gene still says that Finny has never been at odds with himself or anything in his life.

Mackenzie: These points all show the theme Appearance vs. Reality. Gene makes himself believe that he is a kind, rule-abiding person while in reality he knows the wrongs he has done. Adelle: In the book Finny is also portrayed as a lucky and all around perfect person who never has any problems. In reality we know this could appear to be the case but really no person could go through what Finny did without being conflicted. 2. Demonstrate an understanding of the following concepts and themes as they relate to A Separate Peace: Loss of innocence Friendship Appearance vs. Reality

Adelle: Gene becomes aware of how harsh and hard the world outside of school he sees this through his visit to see Leper and recollects through the book his time at the school when he and his friends had that innocence. He talks of Leper on page 196 “… like Leper, emerge from a protective cloud of vagueness only to meet it, the horror, face to face, just as he had always feared”. This is showing how one of the characters lost their innocence. Mackenzie: Finny also loses some of his innocence when he gets hurt, he realizes that there are things that he can lose in life and that sports and athletics are not the only things in his world.

He becomes more intelligent through his experiences at Devon. Adelle: Gene also shows how he has become wiser. He talks of the war on page 193 “Because it seemed clear that wars were not made by generations and their special stupidities, but that wars were made instead by something ignorant in the human heart. ” Mackenzie: The theme of Friendship can be defined as two or more characters who can trust and rely on each other for support and kindness. This theme can relate to A Separate Peace because Gene and Finny claim to be friends, however that is hardly the case.

For example, Gene shakes the tree branch and causes Finny to fall, yet he never takes responsibility for his action and he spends a lot of time trying to cover that up. Also, the two constantly tried to one-up each other throughout their youth. Adelle: Yes but they did consider themselves good friends so the theme does apply in some sense. The theme Appearance vs. reality also applies to A Separate Peace, Appearance vs. reality is when the way something looks isn’t the actuality. Through the whole book All the characters are seen through Gene’s point of view, his opinion on everything.

Through his opinions Gene try’s appears to us as a good, smart, and kind person but his actions through the story have us questioning that version and the truth about how Gene really is. Mackenzie: Also, Gene makes it look like Finny has no problems, but in reality, Finny goes through problems with denial. Finny continuously denies that Gene ever hurt him, even after Gene tried admitting the truth. 3. Using setting, characterization, and plot as foundation explain the parallels Knowles draws between WWII and the events that take place at the Devon school. Adelle: The events at Devon were shown corresponding with WWII.

On the last page Gene talks about how he defeated his own enemy in a way. It states “I never killed anybody and I never developed an intense level of hatred for the enemy. Because my war ended before I ever put on a uniform; u was on active duty all my time at school; I killed my enemy there. ” The quote shows that Gene felt that his years at the school were like he was already in a war. Mackenzie: At Devon, the seniors had to partake in activities that related to military training. This relates to WWII because the young men were getting ready to go fight after they completed high school.

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