Unit Test- Nineteenth-Century England 96% NOT ALL CORRECT

Oscar Wilde uses humor to critique society and show that there is too much concern about coming from a proper family.

Which line from The Importance of Being Earnest best makes this point?

"Where did the charitable gentleman who had a first-class ticket for this seaside resort find you?"
"Yes, Lady Bracknell. I was in a hand-bag—a somewhat large, black leather hand-bag, with handles to it—an ordinary hand-bag in fact."
"To be born, or at any rate bred, in a hand-bag, whether it had handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life . . ."
"May I ask you then what you would advise me to do? I need hardly say I would do anything in the world to ensure Gwendolen's happiness."

"To be born, or at any rate bred, in a hand-bag, whether it had handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life . . ."

To critique society is to examine it in order to

state a fact.
break a rule.
give an opinion.
provide evidence.

give an opinion.

A comedy of manners is a type of dramatic comedy that the rules and behaviors of a society.

humorously critiques

Lady Bracknell. I'm sorry if we are a little late, Algernon, but I was obliged to call on dear Lady Harbury. I hadn't been there since her poor husband's death. I never saw a woman so altered; she looks quite twenty years younger. And now I'll have a cup of tea, and one of those nice cucumber sandwiches you promised me.

Algernon. Certainly, Aunt Augusta.

Lady Bracknell. Won't you come and sit here, Gwendolen?

What does Lady Bracknell say that makes light of marriage in this excerpt?

She says that she does not want Gwendolen, an unmarried girl, to sit apart from her guardian.
She says that she disapproves of Algernon as a suitable husband because he ate all of the cucumber sandwiches.
She says that she expects certain treatment because she is a married woman.
She says that Lady Harbury looks younger since her husband's death.

She says that Lady Harbury looks younger since her husband's death.

Jack. But my dear Lady Bracknell, the matter is entirely in your own hands. The moment you consent to my marriage with Gwendolen, I will most gladly allow your nephew to form an alliance with my ward.

What trait does Jack show in this excerpt?

a tendency to argue
a tendency to joke
an ability to negotiate
an ability to antagonize

an ability to negotiate

Cecily. Gwendolen, your common sense is invaluable. Mr. Moncrieff, kindly answer me the following question. Why did you pretend to be my guardian's brother?

Algernon. In order that I might have an opportunity of meeting you.

Cecily. That certainly seems a satisfactory explanation, does it not?

Gwendolen. Yes, dear, if you can believe him.

Cecily. I don't. But that does not affect the wonderful beauty of his answer.

What does this excerpt most clearly convey about Cecily?

She values truth over creativity.
She values romance over truth.
She values logic over romance.
She values creativity over logic.

She values romance over truth.

Lady Bracknell. I do not know whether there is anything peculiarly exciting in the air of this particular part of Hertfordshire, but the number of engagements that go on seems to me considerably above the proper average that statistics have laid down for our guidance. I think some preliminary inquiry on my part would not be out of place. Mr. Worthing, is Miss Cardew at all connected with any of the larger railway stations in London? I merely desire information. Until yesterday I had no idea that there were any families or persons whose origin was a Terminus.

How can Lady Bracknell asking Miss Cardew (Cecily) if she is "at all connected with any of the larger railway stations in London" be seen as a reflection of Victorian social codes?

Knowing that Jack was found as a baby in a railway station, she is excited that Cecily may also be connected to a railway family because it suggests wealth.
Since she already knows about Jack's background, she is angry that Algernon may marry someone who is not as educated as he is.
Knowing that Jack was found as a baby in a railway station, she is concerned that Algernon wants to marry someone who may be of a lower social ranking.
Since she already knows about Jack's background, she is curious to know about Cecily's because it is considered mannerly to show interest in others.

Knowing that Jack was found as a baby in a railway station, she is concerned that Algernon wants to marry someone who may be of a lower social ranking.

Gwendolen. The fact that they did not follow us at once into the house, as any one else would have done, seems to me to show that they have some sense of shame left.

Cecily. They have been eating muffins. That looks like repentance.

What do you learn about Gwendolen and Cecily from this excerpt?

They value honesty and are angry that the men have lied to them.
They value romance and are willing to make excuses for the men they love.
They value wisdom and refuse to admit that they were wrong.
They value commitment and are willing to marry anyone who will marry them.

They value romance and are willing to make excuses for the men they love.

The Importance of Being Earnest contains the features of a comedy of manners.

Which excerpt from the play best supports the statement?

Merriman. Mr. Ernest Worthing has just driven over from the station.
Algernon. It is much pleasanter being here with you.
Miss Prism. No married man is ever attractive except to his wife.
Chasuble. Mr. Worthing, I offer you my sincere condolence.

Miss Prism. No married man is ever attractive except to his wife.

Title: The Importance of Being Earnest
by Oscar Wilde

The Persons in the Play
John Worthing, J.P.
Algernon Moncrieff
Rev. Canon Chasuble, D.D.
Merriman, Butler
Lane, Manservant
Lady Bracknell
Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax
Cecily Cardew
Miss Prism, Governess

First Act
SCENE
Morning-room in Algernon's flat in Half-Moon Street. The room is luxuriously and artistically furnished. The sound of a piano is heard in the adjoining room.

Algernon. Did you hear what I was playing, Lane?

Lane. I didn't think it polite to listen, sir.

Which analysis of the beginning of The Importance of Being Earnest is the most accurate?

The setting at the opening of the play makes a comment on the benefits of being married.
The names of the characters in the play help Wilde illustrate the differences between social classes.
The title is helpful in establishing the play as a comedy of manners because it makes use of witty wordplay.
The first line of dialogue in the play helps Wilde emphasize a contrast between city and country life.

The title is helpful in establishing the play as a comedy of manners because it makes use of witty wordplay.

Lady Bracknell. . . . Apprised, sir, of my daughter's sudden flight by her trusty maid, whose confidence I purchased by means of a small coin, I followed her at once by a luggage train. Her unhappy father is, I am glad to say, under the impression that she is attending a more than usually lengthy lecture by the University Extension Scheme on the Influence of a permanent income on Thought. I do not propose to undeceive him. Indeed I have never undeceived him on any question. I would consider it wrong. But of course, you will clearly understand that all communication between yourself and my daughter must cease immediately from this moment.

How does Wilde poke fun at Victorian society in the passage? Check all that apply.

Lady Bracknell says her maid is trustworthy but has to bribe her to get help.
The names of the college and class seem reasonable to Gwendolen's father.
Gwendolen's father appears to be an unhappy man.
Lady Bracknell says it is wrong to be honest with her husband.
Lady Bracknell does not approve of Gwendolen dating Jack.

x - - x -

Jack. Gwendolen, will you marry me?

Gwendolen. Of course I will, darling. How long you have been about it! I am afraid you have had very little experience in how to propose.

Jack. My own one, I have never loved any one in the world but you.

Gwendolen. Yes, but men often propose for practice. I know my brother Gerald does. All my girl-friends tell me so.

How does this dialogue poke fun at a society that takes marriage too lightly?

Jack is joking about his marriage proposal.
Jack tells Gwendolen that he loves no one else.
Gwendolen is happy that Jack has finally asked her to marry him.
Gwendolen says that her brother proposes to all her friends.

Gwendolen says that her brother proposes to all her friends.

Jack. Oh, Gwendolen is as right as a trivet. As far as she is concerned, we are engaged. Her mother is perfectly unbearable. Never met such a Gorgon . . . I don't really know what a Gorgon is like, but I am quite sure that Lady Bracknell is one. In any case, she is a monster, without being a myth, which is rather unfair . . . I beg your pardon, Algy, I suppose I shouldn't talk about your own aunt in that way before you.

Algernon. My dear boy, I love hearing my relations abused. It is the only thing that makes me put up with them at all. Relations are simply a tedious pack of people, who haven't got the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die.

How does Oscar Wilde use Algernon's attitude to poke fun at society's traditional rules of behavior?

In traditional society, Algernon would be expected to defend his aunt. Instead, he speaks freely about his feelings toward family.
In traditional society, Algernon would be expected to speak kindly to Jack. Instead, he is harsh in his response.
Algernon rises to his aunt's defense when Jack becomes critical of her personality.
Algernon explains that his aunt is difficult, but that Gwendolen is a favorite cousin.

In traditional society, Algernon would be expected to defend his aunt. Instead, he speaks freely about his feelings toward family.

Please don't touch the cucumber sandwiches. They are ordered specially for Aunt Augusta.

Jack. Well, you have been eating them all the time.

Algernon. That is quite a different matter. She is my aunt. Have some bread and butter. The bread and butter is for Gwendolen. Gwendolen is devoted to bread and butter.

How is humor used to critique the double standard of manners in society?

Jack attempts to take a sandwich.
Jack makes Algernon angry by eating bread and butter.
Algernon scolds Jack for eating sandwiches while eating them himself, satisfying his own needs.
Algernon offers Jack Gwendolen's bread and butter because he knows that Jack loves Gwendolen.

Algernon scolds Jack for eating sandwiches while eating them himself, satisfying his own needs.

I have always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing. Which do you know?

Jack. I know nothing, Lady Bracknell.

Lady Bracknell. I am pleased to hear it. I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever.

What does Wilde's use of humor critique in this excerpt?

marriage
education
tradition
government

education

Jack. Oh! It always is nearly seven.

Algernon. Well, I'm hungry.

Jack. I never knew you when you weren't . . .

Algernon. What shall we do after dinner? Go to a theatre?

Jack. Oh, no! I loathe listening.

Algernon. Well, let us go to the Club?

Jack. Oh, no! I hate talking.

Algernon. Well, we might trot round to the Empire at ten?

Jack. Oh, no! I can't bear looking at things. It is so silly.

Algernon. Well, what shall we do?

Jack. Nothing!

Algernon. It is awfully hard work doing nothing. However, I don't mind hard work where there is no definite object of any kind.

Which is an example of how Wilde pokes fun at the upper-class lifestyle?

Jack has trouble listening and speaking.
Jack rejects all of Algernon's suggestions.
Algernon states that he is hungry once again.
Algernon says it is hard work to live in this leisurely manner.

Algernon says it is hard work to live in this leisurely manner.

Jack. My dear Algy, you talk exactly as if you were a dentist. It is very vulgar to talk like a dentist when one isn't a dentist. It produces a false impression.

This excerpt best illustrates which feature of a comedy of manners?

witty wordplay
a commentary on marriage
a comparison of country and city life
concern with appearance over morality

witty wordplay

Which line from The Importance of Being Earnest is an example of a commentary on marriage?

"I don't play accurately—any one can play accurately—but I play with wonderful expression."
"The very essence of romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I'll certainly try to forget the fact."
"The bread and butter is for Gwendolen. Gwendolen is devoted to bread and butter."
"It is a very ungentlemanly thing to read a private cigarette case."

"The very essence of romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I'll certainly try to forget the fact."

Oscar Wilde's humor points out that many people are not who they appear to be, which is a critique on the emphasis placed on appearance in society.

Which line from The Importance of Being Earnest best makes this point?

"From little Cecily, with her fondest love to her dear Uncle Jack."
"There is no objection, I admit, to an aunt being a small aunt . . ."
"You are the most earnest-looking person I ever saw in my life."
"Well, my name is Ernest in town and Jack in the country . . ."

"Well, my name is Ernest in town and Jack in the country . . ."

Which line from The Importance of Being Earnest shows the difference between city and country living?

"Why cucumber sandwiches? Why such reckless extravagance in one so young? Who is coming to tea?"
"Yes, that is all very well; but I am afraid Aunt Augusta won't quite approve of your being here."
"When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one is in the country one amuses other people. It is excessively boring."
"If you don't take care, your friend Bunbury will get you into a serious scrape some day."

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

Which line from The Importance of Being Earnest highlights the divide between the social classes in Victorian society?

"Really, if the lower orders don't set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them?"
"What else should bring one anywhere? Eating as usual, I see, Algy!"
"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."
"I know. You are absurdly careless about sending out invitations. It is very foolish of you. Nothing annoys people so much as not receiving invitations."

"Really, if the lower orders don't set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them?"

Algernon. I don't know that I am much interested in your family life, Lane.

Lane. No, sir; it is not a very interesting subject. I never think of it myself.

Algernon. Very natural, I am sure. That will do, Lane, thank you.

Lane. Thank you, sir.

Algernon. Lane's views on marriage seem somewhat lax. Really, if the lower orders don't set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them? They seem, as a class, to have absolutely no sense of moral responsibility.

How does Wilde use this conversation to poke fun at the class divisions of his day?

Algernon holds his servant to an unreasonable standard because he expects the lower classes to be good examples for the upper class.
Algernon excuses his servant after Lane provides refreshments, and the two men chat about marriage and family life.
Lane defends marriage while Algernon jokes about it.
Lane lectures Algernon about his disrespectful attitude.

Algernon holds his servant to an unreasonable standard because he expects the lower classes to be good examples for the upper class.

Gwendolen. Let us preserve a dignified silence.

Cecily. Certainly. It's the only thing to do now.

Gwendolen. This dignified silence seems to produce an unpleasant effect.

Cecily. A most distasteful one.

Gwendolen. But we will not be the first to speak.

Cecily. Certainly not.

Gwendolen. Mr. Worthing, I have something very particular to ask you. Much depends on your reply.

Wilde uses the exchange between Gwendolen and Cecily to

praise the strict social codes of Victorian society.
show the superiority of women in Victorian society.
mock the formal courtship rules of Victorian society.
explain the importance of romance in Victorian society.

mock the formal courtship rules of Victorian society.

Jack. Pray excuse me, Lady Bracknell, for interrupting you again, but it is only fair to tell you that according to the terms of her grandfather's will Miss Cardew does not come legally of age till she is thirty-five.

The best conclusion that can be drawn from Jack's words is that he is .

mannerly

Jack. I fear there can be no possible doubt about the matter. This afternoon during my temporary absence in London on an important question of romance, he obtained admission to my house by means of the false pretence of being my brother. Under an assumed name he drank, I've just been informed by my butler, an entire pint bottle of my Perrier-Jouet, Brut, '89; wine I was specially reserving for myself. Continuing his disgraceful deception, he succeeded in the course of the afternoon in alienating the affections of my only ward. He subsequently stayed to tea, and devoured every single muffin. And what makes his conduct all the more heartless is, that he was perfectly well aware from the first that I have no brother, that I never had a brother, and that I don't intend to have a brother, not even of any kind. I distinctly told him so myself yesterday afternoon.

Based on this excerpt, what behavior does Jack most clearly disapprove of?

being creative
being deceptive
being romantic
being determined

being deceptive

Jack. That is very generous of you, Lady Bracknell. My own decision, however, is unalterable. I decline to give my consent.

Lady Bracknell. Come here, sweet child. How old are you, dear?

Cecily. Well, I am really only eighteen, but I always admit to twenty when I go to evening parties.

Lady Bracknell. You are perfectly right in making some slight alteration. Indeed, no woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating . . . Eighteen, but admitting to twenty at evening parties. Well, it will not be very long before you are of age and free from the restraints of tutelage. So I don't think your guardian's consent is, after all, a matter of any importance.

Jack. Pray excuse me, Lady Bracknell, for interrupting you again, but it is only fair to tell you that according to the terms of her grandfather's will Miss Cardew does not come legally of age till she is thirty-five.

In this excerpt, the Victorian social code that stresses the importance of manners is most reflected through

Jack's words when he addresses Lady Bracknell.
Lady Bracknell's words when she commends Cecily for lying.
Jack's actions when he declines to consent to the marriage.
Lady Bracknell's actions when she speaks in a "meditative manner."

Jack's words when he addresses Lady Bracknell.

Jack. Miss Cardew's family solicitors are Messrs. Markby, Markby, and Markby.

Lady Bracknell. Markby, Markby, and Markby? A firm of the very highest position in their profession. Indeed I am told that one of the Mr. Markby's is occasionally to be seen at dinner parties. So far I am satisfied.

Based on this excerpt, which Victorian social code was important to the upper class?

social ranking
education
appearances
manners

social ranking

Jack. Miss Prism, more is restored to you than this hand-bag. I was the baby you placed in it.

Miss Prism. You?

Jack. Yes . . . mother!

Miss Prism. Mr. Worthing! I am unmarried!

What do you learn about Miss Prism from this excerpt?

She believes in strict adherence to religion.
She believes in the division of social classes.
She believes in adherence to societal expectations.
She believes in morality over outward appearances.

She believes in adherence to societal expectations.

Lady Bracknell. A moment, Mr. Worthing. A hundred and thirty thousand pounds! And in the Funds! Miss Cardew seems to me a most attractive young lady, now that I look at her. Few girls of the present day have any really solid qualities, any of the qualities that last, and improve with time. We live, I regret to say, in an age of surfaces. Come over here, dear. Pretty child! your dress is sadly simple, and your hair seems almost as Nature might have left it. But we can soon alter all that. A thoroughly experienced French maid produces a really marvellous result in a very brief space of time. I remember recommending one to young Lady Lancing, and after three months her own husband did not know her.

Based on this passage, Lady Bracknell most clearly places value on the importance of

morality.
background.
manners.
appearances.

appearances.

Jack. Miss Cardew is the grand-daughter of the late Mr. Thomas Cardew of 149 Belgrave Square, S.W.; Gervase Park, Dorking, Surrey; and the Sporran, Fifeshire, N.B.

Lady Bracknell. That sounds not unsatisfactory. Three addresses always inspire confidence, even in tradesmen. But what proof have I of their authenticity?

Jack. I have carefully preserved the Court Guides of the period. They are open to your inspection, Lady Bracknell.

Lady Bracknell. I have known strange errors in that publication.

Jack. Miss Cardew's family solicitors are Messrs. Markby, Markby, and Markby.

Lady Bracknell. Markby, Markby, and Markby? A firm of the very highest position in their profession. Indeed I am told that one of the Mr. Markby's is occasionally to be seen at dinner parties. So far I am satisfied.

What does this excerpt most clearly convey about Lady Bracknell?

She thinks that family background is important.
She believes in the beauty of true love.
She desires to change her social status.
She distrusts people who have reputable names.

She thinks that family background is important.

Lady Bracknell. Ah! A life crowded with incident, I see; though perhaps somewhat too exciting for a young girl. I am not myself in favour of premature experiences. Gwendolen! the time approaches for our departure. We have not a moment to lose. As a matter of form, Mr. Worthing, I had better ask you if Miss Cardew has any little fortune?

Jack. Oh! about a hundred and thirty thousand pounds in the Funds. That is all. Goodbye, Lady Bracknell. So pleased to have seen you.

Lady Bracknell. A moment, Mr. Worthing. A hundred and thirty thousand pounds! And in the Funds! Miss Cardew seems to me a most attractive young lady, now that I look at her.

This excerpt most clearly conveys Lady Bracknell's belief that makes someone more desirable.

wealth

Jack. . . . Old Mr. Thomas Cardew, who adopted me when I was a little boy, made me in his will guardian to his grand-daughter, Miss Cecily Cardew. Cecily, who addresses me as her uncle from motives of respect that you could not possibly appreciate, lives at my place in the country under the charge of her admirable governess, Miss Prism.
Algernon. Where is that place in the country, by the way?
Jack. That is nothing to you, dear boy. You are not going to be invited . . .

By refusing to let Algernon meet Cecily, what character trait does Jack display?

protectiveness
mischievousness
jealousy
compassion

protectiveness

Cecily. But I don't like German. It isn't at all a becoming language. I know perfectly well that I look quite plain after my German lesson.
Miss Prism. Child, you know how anxious your guardian is that you should improve yourself in every way. He laid particular stress on your German, as he was leaving for town yesterday. Indeed, he always lays stress on your German when he is leaving for town.
Cecily. Dear Uncle Jack is so very serious! Sometimes he is so serious that I think he cannot be quite well.

From the passage, the reader can conclude that Cecily

plans on traveling abroad.
wishes she were smarter.
values looks over knowledge.
wants to be more responsible.

values looks over knowledge.

Unit Test- Nineteenth-Century England 96% NOT ALL CORRECT - Subjecto.com

Unit Test- Nineteenth-Century England 96% NOT ALL CORRECT

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Oscar Wilde uses humor to critique society and show that there is too much concern about coming from a proper family.

Which line from The Importance of Being Earnest best makes this point?

"Where did the charitable gentleman who had a first-class ticket for this seaside resort find you?"
"Yes, Lady Bracknell. I was in a hand-bag—a somewhat large, black leather hand-bag, with handles to it—an ordinary hand-bag in fact."
"To be born, or at any rate bred, in a hand-bag, whether it had handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life . . ."
"May I ask you then what you would advise me to do? I need hardly say I would do anything in the world to ensure Gwendolen’s happiness."

"To be born, or at any rate bred, in a hand-bag, whether it had handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life . . ."

To critique society is to examine it in order to

state a fact.
break a rule.
give an opinion.
provide evidence.

give an opinion.

A comedy of manners is a type of dramatic comedy that the rules and behaviors of a society.

humorously critiques

Lady Bracknell. I’m sorry if we are a little late, Algernon, but I was obliged to call on dear Lady Harbury. I hadn’t been there since her poor husband’s death. I never saw a woman so altered; she looks quite twenty years younger. And now I’ll have a cup of tea, and one of those nice cucumber sandwiches you promised me.

Algernon. Certainly, Aunt Augusta. [Goes over to tea-table.]

Lady Bracknell. Won’t you come and sit here, Gwendolen?

What does Lady Bracknell say that makes light of marriage in this excerpt?

She says that she does not want Gwendolen, an unmarried girl, to sit apart from her guardian.
She says that she disapproves of Algernon as a suitable husband because he ate all of the cucumber sandwiches.
She says that she expects certain treatment because she is a married woman.
She says that Lady Harbury looks younger since her husband’s death.

She says that Lady Harbury looks younger since her husband’s death.

Jack. But my dear Lady Bracknell, the matter is entirely in your own hands. The moment you consent to my marriage with Gwendolen, I will most gladly allow your nephew to form an alliance with my ward.

What trait does Jack show in this excerpt?

a tendency to argue
a tendency to joke
an ability to negotiate
an ability to antagonize

an ability to negotiate

Cecily. Gwendolen, your common sense is invaluable. Mr. Moncrieff, kindly answer me the following question. Why did you pretend to be my guardian’s brother?

Algernon. In order that I might have an opportunity of meeting you.

Cecily. [To Gwendolen.] That certainly seems a satisfactory explanation, does it not?

Gwendolen. Yes, dear, if you can believe him.

Cecily. I don’t. But that does not affect the wonderful beauty of his answer.

What does this excerpt most clearly convey about Cecily?

She values truth over creativity.
She values romance over truth.
She values logic over romance.
She values creativity over logic.

She values romance over truth.

Lady Bracknell. [With a shiver, crossing to the sofa and sitting down.] I do not know whether there is anything peculiarly exciting in the air of this particular part of Hertfordshire, but the number of engagements that go on seems to me considerably above the proper average that statistics have laid down for our guidance. I think some preliminary inquiry on my part would not be out of place. Mr. Worthing, is Miss Cardew at all connected with any of the larger railway stations in London? I merely desire information. Until yesterday I had no idea that there were any families or persons whose origin was a Terminus. [Jack looks perfectly furious, but restrains himself.]

How can Lady Bracknell asking Miss Cardew (Cecily) if she is "at all connected with any of the larger railway stations in London" be seen as a reflection of Victorian social codes?

Knowing that Jack was found as a baby in a railway station, she is excited that Cecily may also be connected to a railway family because it suggests wealth.
Since she already knows about Jack’s background, she is angry that Algernon may marry someone who is not as educated as he is.
Knowing that Jack was found as a baby in a railway station, she is concerned that Algernon wants to marry someone who may be of a lower social ranking.
Since she already knows about Jack’s background, she is curious to know about Cecily’s because it is considered mannerly to show interest in others.

Knowing that Jack was found as a baby in a railway station, she is concerned that Algernon wants to marry someone who may be of a lower social ranking.

[Gwendolen and Cecily are at the window, looking out into the garden.]

Gwendolen. The fact that they did not follow us at once into the house, as any one else would have done, seems to me to show that they have some sense of shame left.

Cecily. They have been eating muffins. That looks like repentance.

What do you learn about Gwendolen and Cecily from this excerpt?

They value honesty and are angry that the men have lied to them.
They value romance and are willing to make excuses for the men they love.
They value wisdom and refuse to admit that they were wrong.
They value commitment and are willing to marry anyone who will marry them.

They value romance and are willing to make excuses for the men they love.

The Importance of Being Earnest contains the features of a comedy of manners.

Which excerpt from the play best supports the statement?

Merriman. Mr. Ernest Worthing has just driven over from the station.
Algernon. It is much pleasanter being here with you.
Miss Prism. No married man is ever attractive except to his wife.
Chasuble. Mr. Worthing, I offer you my sincere condolence.

Miss Prism. No married man is ever attractive except to his wife.

Title: The Importance of Being Earnest
by Oscar Wilde

The Persons in the Play
John Worthing, J.P.
Algernon Moncrieff
Rev. Canon Chasuble, D.D.
Merriman, Butler
Lane, Manservant
Lady Bracknell
Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax
Cecily Cardew
Miss Prism, Governess

First Act
SCENE
Morning-room in Algernon’s flat in Half-Moon Street. The room is luxuriously and artistically furnished. The sound of a piano is heard in the adjoining room.

[Lane is arranging afternoon tea on the table, and after the music has ceased, Algernon enters.]

Algernon. Did you hear what I was playing, Lane?

Lane. I didn’t think it polite to listen, sir.

Which analysis of the beginning of The Importance of Being Earnest is the most accurate?

The setting at the opening of the play makes a comment on the benefits of being married.
The names of the characters in the play help Wilde illustrate the differences between social classes.
The title is helpful in establishing the play as a comedy of manners because it makes use of witty wordplay.
The first line of dialogue in the play helps Wilde emphasize a contrast between city and country life.

The title is helpful in establishing the play as a comedy of manners because it makes use of witty wordplay.

Lady Bracknell. . . . [Turns to Jack.] Apprised, sir, of my daughter’s sudden flight by her trusty maid, whose confidence I purchased by means of a small coin, I followed her at once by a luggage train. Her unhappy father is, I am glad to say, under the impression that she is attending a more than usually lengthy lecture by the University Extension Scheme on the Influence of a permanent income on Thought. I do not propose to undeceive him. Indeed I have never undeceived him on any question. I would consider it wrong. But of course, you will clearly understand that all communication between yourself and my daughter must cease immediately from this moment.

How does Wilde poke fun at Victorian society in the passage? Check all that apply.

Lady Bracknell says her maid is trustworthy but has to bribe her to get help.
The names of the college and class seem reasonable to Gwendolen’s father.
Gwendolen’s father appears to be an unhappy man.
Lady Bracknell says it is wrong to be honest with her husband.
Lady Bracknell does not approve of Gwendolen dating Jack.

x – – x –

Jack. Gwendolen, will you marry me? [Goes on his knees.]

Gwendolen. Of course I will, darling. How long you have been about it! I am afraid you have had very little experience in how to propose.

Jack. My own one, I have never loved any one in the world but you.

Gwendolen. Yes, but men often propose for practice. I know my brother Gerald does. All my girl-friends tell me so.

How does this dialogue poke fun at a society that takes marriage too lightly?

Jack is joking about his marriage proposal.
Jack tells Gwendolen that he loves no one else.
Gwendolen is happy that Jack has finally asked her to marry him.
Gwendolen says that her brother proposes to all her friends.

Gwendolen says that her brother proposes to all her friends.

Jack. Oh, Gwendolen is as right as a trivet. As far as she is concerned, we are engaged. Her mother is perfectly unbearable. Never met such a Gorgon . . . I don’t really know what a Gorgon is like, but I am quite sure that Lady Bracknell is one. In any case, she is a monster, without being a myth, which is rather unfair . . . I beg your pardon, Algy, I suppose I shouldn’t talk about your own aunt in that way before you.

Algernon. My dear boy, I love hearing my relations abused. It is the only thing that makes me put up with them at all. Relations are simply a tedious pack of people, who haven’t got the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die.

How does Oscar Wilde use Algernon’s attitude to poke fun at society’s traditional rules of behavior?

In traditional society, Algernon would be expected to defend his aunt. Instead, he speaks freely about his feelings toward family.
In traditional society, Algernon would be expected to speak kindly to Jack. Instead, he is harsh in his response.
Algernon rises to his aunt’s defense when Jack becomes critical of her personality.
Algernon explains that his aunt is difficult, but that Gwendolen is a favorite cousin.

In traditional society, Algernon would be expected to defend his aunt. Instead, he speaks freely about his feelings toward family.

[Algernon.] [Jack puts out his hand to take a sandwich. Algernon at once interferes.] Please don’t touch the cucumber sandwiches. They are ordered specially for Aunt Augusta. [Takes one and eats it.]

Jack. Well, you have been eating them all the time.

Algernon. That is quite a different matter. She is my aunt. [Takes plate from below.] Have some bread and butter. The bread and butter is for Gwendolen. Gwendolen is devoted to bread and butter.

How is humor used to critique the double standard of manners in society?

Jack attempts to take a sandwich.
Jack makes Algernon angry by eating bread and butter.
Algernon scolds Jack for eating sandwiches while eating them himself, satisfying his own needs.
Algernon offers Jack Gwendolen’s bread and butter because he knows that Jack loves Gwendolen.

Algernon scolds Jack for eating sandwiches while eating them himself, satisfying his own needs.

[Lady Bracknell.] I have always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing. Which do you know?

Jack. [After some hesitation.] I know nothing, Lady Bracknell.

Lady Bracknell. I am pleased to hear it. I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever.

What does Wilde’s use of humor critique in this excerpt?

marriage
education
tradition
government

education

Jack. [Irritably.] Oh! It always is nearly seven.

Algernon. Well, I’m hungry.

Jack. I never knew you when you weren’t . . .

Algernon. What shall we do after dinner? Go to a theatre?

Jack. Oh, no! I loathe listening.

Algernon. Well, let us go to the Club?

Jack. Oh, no! I hate talking.

Algernon. Well, we might trot round to the Empire at ten?

Jack. Oh, no! I can’t bear looking at things. It is so silly.

Algernon. Well, what shall we do?

Jack. Nothing!

Algernon. It is awfully hard work doing nothing. However, I don’t mind hard work where there is no definite object of any kind.

Which is an example of how Wilde pokes fun at the upper-class lifestyle?

Jack has trouble listening and speaking.
Jack rejects all of Algernon’s suggestions.
Algernon states that he is hungry once again.
Algernon says it is hard work to live in this leisurely manner.

Algernon says it is hard work to live in this leisurely manner.

Jack. My dear Algy, you talk exactly as if you were a dentist. It is very vulgar to talk like a dentist when one isn’t a dentist. It produces a false impression.

This excerpt best illustrates which feature of a comedy of manners?

witty wordplay
a commentary on marriage
a comparison of country and city life
concern with appearance over morality

witty wordplay

Which line from The Importance of Being Earnest is an example of a commentary on marriage?

"I don’t play accurately—any one can play accurately—but I play with wonderful expression."
"The very essence of romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I’ll certainly try to forget the fact."
"The bread and butter is for Gwendolen. Gwendolen is devoted to bread and butter."
"It is a very ungentlemanly thing to read a private cigarette case."

"The very essence of romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I’ll certainly try to forget the fact."

Oscar Wilde’s humor points out that many people are not who they appear to be, which is a critique on the emphasis placed on appearance in society.

Which line from The Importance of Being Earnest best makes this point?

"From little Cecily, with her fondest love to her dear Uncle Jack."
"There is no objection, I admit, to an aunt being a small aunt . . ."
"You are the most earnest-looking person I ever saw in my life."
"Well, my name is Ernest in town and Jack in the country . . ."

"Well, my name is Ernest in town and Jack in the country . . ."

Which line from The Importance of Being Earnest shows the difference between city and country living?

"Why cucumber sandwiches? Why such reckless extravagance in one so young? Who is coming to tea?"
"Yes, that is all very well; but I am afraid Aunt Augusta won’t quite approve of your being here."
"When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one is in the country one amuses other people. It is excessively boring."
"If you don’t take care, your friend Bunbury will get you into a serious scrape some day."

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

Which line from The Importance of Being Earnest highlights the divide between the social classes in Victorian society?

"Really, if the lower orders don’t set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them?"
"What else should bring one anywhere? Eating as usual, I see, Algy!"
"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."
"I know. You are absurdly careless about sending out invitations. It is very foolish of you. Nothing annoys people so much as not receiving invitations."

"Really, if the lower orders don’t set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them?"

Algernon. [Languidly.] I don’t know that I am much interested in your family life, Lane.

Lane. No, sir; it is not a very interesting subject. I never think of it myself.

Algernon. Very natural, I am sure. That will do, Lane, thank you.

Lane. Thank you, sir. [Lane goes out.]

Algernon. Lane’s views on marriage seem somewhat lax. Really, if the lower orders don’t set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them? They seem, as a class, to have absolutely no sense of moral responsibility.

How does Wilde use this conversation to poke fun at the class divisions of his day?

Algernon holds his servant to an unreasonable standard because he expects the lower classes to be good examples for the upper class.
Algernon excuses his servant after Lane provides refreshments, and the two men chat about marriage and family life.
Lane defends marriage while Algernon jokes about it.
Lane lectures Algernon about his disrespectful attitude.

Algernon holds his servant to an unreasonable standard because he expects the lower classes to be good examples for the upper class.

Gwendolen. Let us preserve a dignified silence.

Cecily. Certainly. It’s the only thing to do now. [Enter Jack followed by Algernon. They whistle some dreadful popular air from a British Opera.]

Gwendolen. This dignified silence seems to produce an unpleasant effect.

Cecily. A most distasteful one.

Gwendolen. But we will not be the first to speak.

Cecily. Certainly not.

Gwendolen. Mr. Worthing, I have something very particular to ask you. Much depends on your reply.

Wilde uses the exchange between Gwendolen and Cecily to

praise the strict social codes of Victorian society.
show the superiority of women in Victorian society.
mock the formal courtship rules of Victorian society.
explain the importance of romance in Victorian society.

mock the formal courtship rules of Victorian society.

Jack. Pray excuse me, Lady Bracknell, for interrupting you again, but it is only fair to tell you that according to the terms of her grandfather’s will Miss Cardew does not come legally of age till she is thirty-five.

The best conclusion that can be drawn from Jack’s words is that he is .

mannerly

Jack. I fear there can be no possible doubt about the matter. This afternoon during my temporary absence in London on an important question of romance, he obtained admission to my house by means of the false pretence of being my brother. Under an assumed name he drank, I’ve just been informed by my butler, an entire pint bottle of my Perrier-Jouet, Brut, ’89; wine I was specially reserving for myself. Continuing his disgraceful deception, he succeeded in the course of the afternoon in alienating the affections of my only ward. He subsequently stayed to tea, and devoured every single muffin. And what makes his conduct all the more heartless is, that he was perfectly well aware from the first that I have no brother, that I never had a brother, and that I don’t intend to have a brother, not even of any kind. I distinctly told him so myself yesterday afternoon.

Based on this excerpt, what behavior does Jack most clearly disapprove of?

being creative
being deceptive
being romantic
being determined

being deceptive

Jack. That is very generous of you, Lady Bracknell. My own decision, however, is unalterable. I decline to give my consent.

Lady Bracknell. [To Cecily.] Come here, sweet child. [Cecily goes over.] How old are you, dear?

Cecily. Well, I am really only eighteen, but I always admit to twenty when I go to evening parties.

Lady Bracknell. You are perfectly right in making some slight alteration. Indeed, no woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating . . . [In a meditative manner.] Eighteen, but admitting to twenty at evening parties. Well, it will not be very long before you are of age and free from the restraints of tutelage. So I don’t think your guardian’s consent is, after all, a matter of any importance.

Jack. Pray excuse me, Lady Bracknell, for interrupting you again, but it is only fair to tell you that according to the terms of her grandfather’s will Miss Cardew does not come legally of age till she is thirty-five.

In this excerpt, the Victorian social code that stresses the importance of manners is most reflected through

Jack’s words when he addresses Lady Bracknell.
Lady Bracknell’s words when she commends Cecily for lying.
Jack’s actions when he declines to consent to the marriage.
Lady Bracknell’s actions when she speaks in a "meditative manner."

Jack’s words when he addresses Lady Bracknell.

Jack. Miss Cardew’s family solicitors are Messrs. Markby, Markby, and Markby.

Lady Bracknell. Markby, Markby, and Markby? A firm of the very highest position in their profession. Indeed I am told that one of the Mr. Markby’s is occasionally to be seen at dinner parties. So far I am satisfied.

Based on this excerpt, which Victorian social code was important to the upper class?

social ranking
education
appearances
manners

social ranking

Jack. [In a pathetic voice.] Miss Prism, more is restored to you than this hand-bag. I was the baby you placed in it.

Miss Prism. [Amazed.] You?

Jack. [Embracing her.] Yes . . . mother!

Miss Prism. [Recoiling in indignant astonishment.] Mr. Worthing! I am unmarried!

What do you learn about Miss Prism from this excerpt?

She believes in strict adherence to religion.
She believes in the division of social classes.
She believes in adherence to societal expectations.
She believes in morality over outward appearances.

She believes in adherence to societal expectations.

Lady Bracknell. [Sitting down again.] A moment, Mr. Worthing. A hundred and thirty thousand pounds! And in the Funds! Miss Cardew seems to me a most attractive young lady, now that I look at her. Few girls of the present day have any really solid qualities, any of the qualities that last, and improve with time. We live, I regret to say, in an age of surfaces. [To Cecily.] Come over here, dear. [Cecily goes across.] Pretty child! your dress is sadly simple, and your hair seems almost as Nature might have left it. But we can soon alter all that. A thoroughly experienced French maid produces a really marvellous result in a very brief space of time. I remember recommending one to young Lady Lancing, and after three months her own husband did not know her.

Based on this passage, Lady Bracknell most clearly places value on the importance of

morality.
background.
manners.
appearances.

appearances.

Jack. [In a clear, cold voice.] Miss Cardew is the grand-daughter of the late Mr. Thomas Cardew of 149 Belgrave Square, S.W.; Gervase Park, Dorking, Surrey; and the Sporran, Fifeshire, N.B.

Lady Bracknell. That sounds not unsatisfactory. Three addresses always inspire confidence, even in tradesmen. But what proof have I of their authenticity?

Jack. I have carefully preserved the Court Guides of the period. They are open to your inspection, Lady Bracknell.

Lady Bracknell. [Grimly.] I have known strange errors in that publication.

Jack. Miss Cardew’s family solicitors are Messrs. Markby, Markby, and Markby.

Lady Bracknell. Markby, Markby, and Markby? A firm of the very highest position in their profession. Indeed I am told that one of the Mr. Markby’s is occasionally to be seen at dinner parties. So far I am satisfied.

What does this excerpt most clearly convey about Lady Bracknell?

She thinks that family background is important.
She believes in the beauty of true love.
She desires to change her social status.
She distrusts people who have reputable names.

She thinks that family background is important.

Lady Bracknell. Ah! A life crowded with incident, I see; though perhaps somewhat too exciting for a young girl. I am not myself in favour of premature experiences. [Rises, looks at her watch.] Gwendolen! the time approaches for our departure. We have not a moment to lose. As a matter of form, Mr. Worthing, I had better ask you if Miss Cardew has any little fortune?

Jack. Oh! about a hundred and thirty thousand pounds in the Funds. That is all. Goodbye, Lady Bracknell. So pleased to have seen you.

Lady Bracknell. [Sitting down again.] A moment, Mr. Worthing. A hundred and thirty thousand pounds! And in the Funds! Miss Cardew seems to me a most attractive young lady, now that I look at her.

This excerpt most clearly conveys Lady Bracknell’s belief that makes someone more desirable.

wealth

Jack. . . . Old Mr. Thomas Cardew, who adopted me when I was a little boy, made me in his will guardian to his grand-daughter, Miss Cecily Cardew. Cecily, who addresses me as her uncle from motives of respect that you could not possibly appreciate, lives at my place in the country under the charge of her admirable governess, Miss Prism.
Algernon. Where is that place in the country, by the way?
Jack. That is nothing to you, dear boy. You are not going to be invited . . .

By refusing to let Algernon meet Cecily, what character trait does Jack display?

protectiveness
mischievousness
jealousy
compassion

protectiveness

Cecily. [Coming over very slowly.] But I don’t like German. It isn’t at all a becoming language. I know perfectly well that I look quite plain after my German lesson.
Miss Prism. Child, you know how anxious your guardian is that you should improve yourself in every way. He laid particular stress on your German, as he was leaving for town yesterday. Indeed, he always lays stress on your German when he is leaving for town.
Cecily. Dear Uncle Jack is so very serious! Sometimes he is so serious that I think he cannot be quite well.

From the passage, the reader can conclude that Cecily

plans on traveling abroad.
wishes she were smarter.
values looks over knowledge.
wants to be more responsible.

values looks over knowledge.

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