A book review written by Lee Sonogan
The truth is rarely pure and never simple – Oscar Wilde, The Importance Of Being Earnest
Interested in plays that people recommend to either read or see performed is something that I have been getting into lately. Oscar Wilde is known for some interesting plays and I read it without knowing entirely what it is about. And my expectations were impressed by this comedic play ahead of its time.
The story is about a man named Jack Worthing who is led to living a double life. Overwhelmed by his responsibilities, he pretends to have a brother named Ernest. This mistake in a name becomes a series of events based in a time far before modern times. The dialogue is very witty and impactful enough regardless of how it may look at first glance.
One of the best parts of this play is the situational irony. (A sub-genre I personally enjoy!) The satire and well-delivered lines enhance the overall story and the words communicate a meaning that is in the opposite of the real meaning. Meaning the comedy is sarcastic while being a satire to real-life relationship problems between people.
Overall, the main question is, does it stand up to entertainment in modern times? For a play originally written over 100 years ago, it has more than enough entertainment value that will also intrigue you. Although it does not reach an 8 out of ten from me, the book and people playing it in person are two different things.
I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being good all the time. That would be hypocrisy – Oscar Wilde, The Importance Of Being Earnest