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Oscar Wilde

Imagery Analysis

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Excerpt from The Importance of Being Earnest
 
"Algernon. I really don’t see anything romantic in proposing. It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I’ll certainly try to forget the fact.
Jack. I have no doubt about that, dear Algy. The Divorce Court was specially invented for people whose memories are so curiously constituted.
Algernon. Oh! there is no use speculating on that subject. Divorces are made in Heaven - [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.]"
              
Imagery Analysis
 
        Wilde uses literary devices such as imagery within his literary works to create a sensory experience for his audience. By using specific details of events or characters, Wilde is able to give a visual for his audience to see. Thus, the audience feels a sense of understanding and is able to establish a connection with the experience of what Wilde is trying to convey through his works.
        In Oscar Wilde's, The Importance of Being Earnest, auditory and visual image are the most common types of imagery found in the play. He describes the room to be "luxuriously and artistically furnished" as Algernon examines "them, takes two and sits down on the sofa." The use of imagery in this scene allows the reader to understand the type of Victorian society that the characters are living in by describing the furnishings of the room. In addition, Wilde is able to reveal Algernon's character as someone who is very meticulous and is careful to look respectable in front of others. This ties in with the morals that a Victorian society upholds and Wilde is able to mock the standards through his play.
        Furthermore, the use of auditory imagery is present in The Importance of Being Earnest as it significant to Wilde's unique writing style. When a guest has arrived at the door, Wilde describes the "sound of an electric bell is heard... every ring in that Wagnerian manner." By using auditory imagery, the author is able to manipulate and create the mood of the current atmosphere. With the other literary devices that Wilde utilizes, at the basis is imagery, which helps to create the metaphors and characterizations that he tries to convey and appeal to the audience.

Jessica Leu
Coral Gabes Senior High
12th grade IB