Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest questions act 1

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Read Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest

Respond to the questions by answering in complete sentences.

Questions are taken from The Victorian Web and were written by Philip V. Allingham.

Assigned Paragraph Questions for Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” Act One

1- Why does Jack Worthing, JP [Justice of the Peace] call himself “Ernest” instead when he is in “town” (London)?

2- Why has Algernon invented an invalid friend named “Bunbury”?

3-Jack has an insurmountable impediment to marrying Gwendolen in his background: what, as Lady Bracknell sees it, is this problem? How does she propose that he resolve this problem?

4- How does Wilde use the subject of cucumber sandwiches to reveal the characters of Jack and Algy?

5- What is ironic about Algernon’s response to Jack regarding neighbors when he says, “How immensely you must amuse them”?

6- Why does Jack intend to “kill off” his fictitious brother if Ernest has been so useful to the bachelor-cum-guardian?

7-In Lady Bracknell’s interview of Jack, she takes a satiric shot at education in England. What does she say of it?

8- What does Wilde reveal about Lane, “The Gentleman’s Gentleman”?

9- What point is Wilde making about journalism in general and reviewers in particular when Algernon remarks, “You should leave that [literary criticism] to people who haven’t been at University. They do it so well in the daily papers”?

10- Analyze the situation at the end of the first act, including Algy’s overhearing Jack’s real country address, to predict what will happen in the second act.


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