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September 11, 2005

So your my aunt..........? WHAT!!??

Denamarie Ercolani
Professor Jerz
Drama as Literature
Reflection Paper
September 11, 2005

The importance of being Ernest, was probably the best play we have read yet. It kept me very entertained, even though some of the humor was very dry British humor, which I did not understand. I really enjoyed how the author made everything very tangled, with "Jack" and Algernon and Lady Bracknell. I thought that was very good writing on his behalf. Jack was telling the truth all along. You wanted to believe what he was saying, but in a way you thought what he was saying was a little out there with the handbag and the train station. By having the girls, Cecily and Gwendolen being in a way, obsessed, with the name Ernest was very good foreshadowing. Another foreshadowing moment was when "Jack" was telling everyone he had a brother named Ernest. The thing is that he really did have a brother, but his name was Algernon, and that "Jacks" real name is Ernest. The story that he told about being put in a hand-baby when he was little made sense as you were getting to the end of the story. The way that Miss Prism was just added into the play was needed. With out having her to be Cecily's teacher, you would have never found out that "Jack" was Lady Bracknell's nephew. I really enjoyed how the author made the play end this way, that Lady Bracknell was "Jacks" aunt and Algernon was his brother and that they ended up with the girl they wanted. And to make it better "Jack" didn't really have to be baptized as Ernest because he was when he was little, he was baptized as Ernest.

Lady Bracknell: "...But the baby was not there! Prism! Where is that baby?"
Miss Prism: "...I admit with shame that I do not know. I only wish I did...I deposited the manuscript in the basinette and placed the baby in the hand-bag."

As "Jack" was listening into the conversation, all of a sudden everything came together and he was overjoyed with happiness. Everything fit into place. He was not lying about the brother and his name as Ernest, it was the truth.

Posted by Denamarie at September 11, 2005 10:01 AM


The last-minute untangling of the plot is a masterful spoof of the "well-made play" -- a kind of play that dishes out plot twists (often very melodramatic) due to misplaced papers and sudden relevations.

You did a good job investigating the tangles that make the plot so much fun. What is an example of some of the dry British humor you didn't understand?

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at September 11, 2005 10:30 PM

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