23. Choose one of the following questions to respond to. Your response should be at least two paragraphs long. Respond in a well-organized essay written in complete sentences.
a. Explain the significance of the full title of the play: The Importance of Being Earnest (A Trivial Comedy for Serious People). Discuss the meaning of the word earnest and the name Ernest as well as how Wilde communicates his message regarding trivial and serious matters. Use examples from the play.
b. How is the consumption of food used as a symbol in the play? What does food stand for in the play? How does Oscar Wilde use symbolism in his social commentary? Use examples from the play to support your answer.

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  1. What don't you understand about this assignment?

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    Ms. Sue
  2. "The Importance of Being Earnest" has both a symbolic and literal meaning. By dictionary definition, "earnest" means "In a serious manner". It is comical and ironic that Gwendolyn and Cecily want their fiance's names to be "Ernest" when the name of your spouse should not be a serious matter whatsoever. Throughout the play it can be observed that Jack and Algernon find importance in the standards of their lovers, who want them to have the name "Ernest". For example, when they request that Doctor Chasuble christen them the name Ernest. Gradually, Algernon and Jack find the true importance of being Earnest and committing.

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  3. The significance is that Ernest is a name and Earnest is synonymous with honest. The girl wants to marry someone who is called Ernest because she believes it is a great name. However, in order to be close to her, the men have to be earnest too, but they are lying about their names so they're not being earnest, or Ernest, but are pretending to be Ernest and earnest.

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