Character of Jack: The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde



The character of Jack might be viewed at both literal as well as on symbolical levels. Jack is a rich guy with great prospects but he has been maintaining a double identity:

"Well, my name is Ernest in town and Jack in the country". Jack also tells that he has come to the town to enjoy the life because he gets really boring in the country, Shropshire:

"When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one is in the country one amuses other people."

Though we know him as a man of sound moral character, yet the act of creating a fake brother name Ernest does reveal the weaker side of his character. But the lie of a brother in town may, perhaps, be ignored considering his genuine love for Gwendolen. Everybody in the country is praising his character for his nobility and upright deeds.

Where Algernon has invented a Bunbury for the sake of fun only; Jack seems to have done so under the compulsion of the love of Gwendolen. He tells Algernon that:

"I am in love with Gwendolen. I have come up to town expressly to propose to her."

Further, Jack does not lie when the mother of Gwendolen asks him about his parentage. He does not hide anything. But this costs him the refusal on the part of his to be mother in law. He is dejected about his parents and wonders in being found in a hand bag. This may even be attributed to the realism and genuineness of Jack who is avoiding the lies except for posing the double identity.

He appears as an extremely honest and responsible man when it comes to the maintaining of Cecily's funds and fulfilling his responsibilities aptly. Both Miss Prism and Dr. Chasuble regard his upright and steadfast character.



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