Oscar wilde a woman of no importance Essay

Oscar Wilde portrays in his play A Woman of No Importance the Victorian society’s values, norms, and morals. The Victorian period eyewitnessed crucial changes such as industrialization and development. Besides, in the Victorian society reputation and purity was of tremendous importance. A woman was judged by the way she behaves which puts her under pressure. Wilde demonstrates how women were depicted socially and sexually especially with the dominance of men in the social system. He raises awareness of the demerits society laid on women of that period. The play deals with upper class Victorian society. It is about Mrs. Arbuthnot who had an affair with a man called Illingworth when she was young and when she became pregnant, he abandoned her. Her life was ruined as she spent twenty years to rear her child alone which in Victorian times was tremendous. I argue that Mrs. Arbuthnot gains agency over Lord Illingworth. In the Victorian era, femininity was based on a patriarchal system. Unlike the Victorian period’s ideology, Wilde’s characters question those gender roles as female characters in A Woman of No Importance are leading discussions and are in control throughout the play. The play is set in the domestic sphere which is a woman’s place. Time is the present. As far as space is concerned, it is in the three acts at the House of Hunstanton except for the fourth act which takes places in Mrs. Arbuthnot’s house at Wrockley. Equally important, The title has a negative connotation such as a lack of consideration and appreciation. In fact, women of that period were under appreciated. Both men and women have some duties to perform towards the society they are in. In the Victorian context, duties were not similar for both genders. The double standard was of greater value. That is to say, what is admissible and tolerable for the stronger sex was, at any price, tolerable for the weaker sex. Society judges and puts contradistinct labels on people regarding their sex. We can notice gender differentiation represented in the construction of the characters of the play. The best instance concerning this statement is Mrs. Arbuthnot. This paper is divided into two main chapters. The first chapter unfolds the theories which are used for the analysis of the play as well as the characters. The second chapter is devoted to the protagonist Mrs. Arbuthnot as a single mother within Victorian society. I will attempt to analyse how she is seen by other characters and by society. I will look at how female characters interact with the opposite sex. How characters are supplied with characteristics and the character's perspective: their values and norms. I will investigate the techniques of characterization employed regarding the main characters of the play. The aim of this part is to explain how the gender roles concept is constructed and the effects of gender role that deeply affect the quality of one’s life, as shown in the play.

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