Act I, Part-II Detailed Summary of The Importance of Being Ernest: "The Importance of Being Ernest" by oscar Wilde



He tells that Cecily is the young girl entrusted to his guardianship by his uncle; she calls him uncle Jack out of respect. When he is tired from acting morally sound in the country, he rushes to town and in order to get up to town he:

"always pretended to have a younger brother of the name of Ernest, who lives in the Albany, and gets into the most dreadful scrapes. "

Upon this Algernon reveals that:

"I have invented an invaluable permanent invalid called Bunbury, in order that I may be able to go down into the country whenever I choose. "

Algernon tells him that he escapes the company of his aunt whenever can because he is not happy with the way he is treated at the family dinners:

"whenever I do dine there I am always treated as a member of the family, and sent down with either no woman at all, or two. "

Algernon reveals how desperately he likes to be in the company of young women paying attention to him; therefore, he has posed a Bunbury in the country whose bad health forces Algernon to leave town quite often.

Jack does not agree with him: "I'm not a Bunburyist at all. If Gwendolen accepts me, I am going to kill my brother." But he also tells Algernon that Cecily is a bit too interested in Ernest; therefore, he is thinking to rid of the fake character as early as possible.

Algernon does not agree, he believes a Bunbury is always needed to married people. The bell rings and Algernon tells Jack that his aunt has arrived; he would take the aunt outside for ten minutes and Jack would be able to propose Gwendolen. But Algernon puts a condition of dinner for this favour; he seems to be extremely fond of eating. Then enter lady Bracknell and Gwendolen. Lady Bracknell does not seem to appreciate the presence of Jack while Gwendolen flirts with Jack. We are amused to see that when lady Bracknell asks for the cucumber sandwiches, she is told that cucumbers are not available even for ready money.

Algernon refuses the dinner invitation offer of his aunt because Bunbury is not well. 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."

So, she is interested in him, primarily for his name Ernest.

Later, Lady Bracknell enters the room and Gwendolen informs her that she is engaged to Ernest ,Jack. She asker daughter to leave the room while she interviews the young man. She asks Jack about prime matters like his monthly income, source of income, his habits etc. The she moves to the "minor" matters of his life like his parents etc. Jack tells her that he was found in a hand bag at the cloak-room at Victoria Station; he does not know his parents. Lady Bracknell advises him to :

"to try and acquire some relations as soon as possible, and to make a definite effort to produce at any rate one parent, of either sex, before the season is quite over."

Algernon inquires him about the meeting and they chat over the topic of women and their nature; Algernon is noticeably considering women foolish and stupid but we feel that Algernon is very much interested in Cecily, the young ward of Jack. Algernon asks him the country address but he refuses. At the same time Gwendolen arrives and informs him of the criticism of her mother on Jack. She seeks his country address which he instantly blurts out. And Algernon notes it down stealthily and we guess he is ready to meet young Cecily.




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