Character of Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde



The beautiful and proud daughter of lady Bracknell, Gwendolen, is yet another typical example of womanish sentimentality and stupidity. When Jack gets the opportunity to propose Gwendolwn he does propose her while her response is:

"My ideal has always been to love some one of the name of Ernest. There is something in that name that inspires absolute confidence. The moment Algernon first mentioned to me that he had a friend called Ernest, I knew I was destined to love you."

Alarming at the emphasis laid upon the name Ernest, he tells her that the name Ernest does not suit him and the sentimental lady responds:

"No, there is very little music in the name Jack, if any at all, indeed. It does not thrill. It produces absolutely no vibrations."
< br>So, she is interested in him, primarily for his name Ernest.

It is often suggested by writers that women are merely superfluous and artificial in their mannerism. Gwendolen praises Cecily and says that they are going to be great friend and her "first impressions of people are never wrong".While they are talking it is assumed by them that Jack, the guardian of Cecily, has a brother named Ernest who has proposed Gwendolen "to be his wife yesterday afternoon at 5.30" while he has now "proposed...exactly ten minutes ago" to Cecily. This is confusing. The two girls throw away the social mannerism and begin to fight claiming Ernest:

"This is no time for wearing the shallow mask of manners. When I see a spade I call it a spade. "



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