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Double Standards in Victorian Society

The work of Oscar Wilde is placed in London, in Victorian Society Age. This
society had like main characteristics the existence of rigid social standards, which
had to be followed by people of high class. Then they could not live freely in the
way they wanted. They have no choice, and they built an external appearance
behind they hid their true identity and kept their instincts and real desires secret. In
this atmosphere of oppressive moral rules Jack and his friend Algernon had a
secret life, the first used the name of Ernest to live in a free way his secret
passions. He told everyone he has a younger brother: Ernest who lived without
limits. The second uses the Burnburyst expression for defining the other life he
has. He -as bunburyst- had

the possibility of doing forbidden things in his

conventional life. In this way, they could live through fictitious identities a double
life. They are the best expression of double standards in Victorian Society.
I consider that the play is a Wilde´s critique of the society he had to live.
Using this play he depicted all the hypocrisy of that time in a funny and at the same
time sarcastic way. In fact, the whole plot is a funny portray of all situations that
can emerge when people have a double life. Misunderstandings were daily events,
and they are solved in a pity manner because the important was first of all
appearance. Therefore using the characters of his play, Wilde criticizes duality of
people in Victorian Society who on the one hand were absolutely concerned about
appearances and standards of morality, while on the other hand they indulged
forbidden things.
In my opinion this duality of people in Victorian Society is consequence of
the same social requirements of this time. These oppressive rules obliged people
to construct an external façade behind which they hid their true characters keeping
their real preferences secret. These circumstances brought an atmosphere of
hypocrisy mixed with real beliefs. In fact it is not easy to distinguish between real
intentions or false opinions. For instance when Gwendolen and Cecily were
speaking, they are very nice and polite each other, even when they realize they

Ada Caicedo de Guerra C. In matters of grave importance. is the vital thing. style. 1920: 81-82) On other hand I have found some irritant statements for me. however there are more stupid people than one can think.were could being talking about the same man. they were considered almost inferior creatures than men. as an entanglement? You are presumptuous. they had to appear innocence and ingenuity. It becomes a pleasure” and Cecily answered: “Do you suggest. for example when Gwendolen said: “True. In our times only stupid people live for maintaining appearances. Miss Fairfax. 1920: 90). and women had no options.896 . In this meaning. but for us it can be difficult to understand why people pretend to live for pleasing other. but still they pretended to keep an educated conversation may be a little ironic when Gwendolen said to Cecily: “Do you allude to me. not sincerity. On an occasion of this kind it becomes more than a moral duty to speak one’s mind. we have to remain that it was the spirit of those times. that I entrapped Ernest into an engagement? How dare you? This is no time for wearing the shallow mask of manners. but at those moments it was the right behavior. even though their attitudes can seem hypocrite for our current standards. Hence. who only wanted to do what they had to do.” (Wilde. we cannot judge the characters as hypocrites because they only acted according the requirements of their time. they were normal people of their time. Jack and Algernon were honorable men. (Wilde. No 9.246. V. they never abandon their manners although both of them were really irritated. They had no choice. When I see a spade I call it a spade. Mis Cardew. All of them can be considered real examples of respectable people of their time.I. for us it can be unthinkable.

Referencias bibliográficas  Wilde. Boston: Walter H. Retrieved from https://archive. Baker . O. (1920): The importance of being Earnest.