Act II, Part-II Detailed Summary of The Importance of Being Ernest: "The Importance of Being Ernest" by Samuel Becket



Cecily proves to be an extremely sentimental girl and she tells him of his love letters she herself wrote. She further astonishes him with the breaking of the engagement:

"It would hardly have been a really serious engagement if it hadn't been broken off at least once. But I forgave you before the week was out".

She, too like Gwendolen, is fascinated by the name of Ernest:

"it had always been a girlish dream of mine to love someone whose name was Ernest. There is something in that name that seems to inspire absolute confidence. I pity any poor married woman whose husband is not called Ernest".

Understanding that the name is everything, he decides to christen on the same day. As soon as Algernon is out of the house, Gwendolen arrives there and she is led to Cecily. 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. "

However, the entry of the servants causes them to control their emotions. Soon, Jack enters and Gwendolen rushes towards him. Jack tries to kiss her but she refuses and seeks explanation first. Being told that Jack is not to marry Cecily she offers him her cheek. At this moment, Cecily makes fun of Gwendolen saying that "the gentleman whose arm is at present round your waist is my guardian, Mr. John Worthing. " This upsets Gwendolen. Instantly, Algernon enters the scene and goes straight to Cecily to hug her; here, Gwendolen amuses by saying to Cecily: "The gentleman who is now embracing you is my cousin, Mr. Algernon Moncrieff. "

The two girls get annoyed realizing they have been cheated and deceived. They both go inside. Outside in the garden, Jack is restless for Gwendolen while Algernon is relaxing and eating muffins despites Jack's resentment:

"Well, I can't eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them. "

Algernon also says that: "When I am in trouble, eating is the only thing that consoles me."

Jack asks Algernon to leave his house which he refuses because he has an appointment to be christened at 5:45 in the evening. Jack does not want Algernon to be christened. The act ends during their heated discussion.




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