Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Pursuit Of Happiness Essays - British Films,

The Pursuit Of Happiness Love is perhaps the most actively sought moral objective of ones life. And though marriage is often thought to be the logical consequence of love, it is Oscar Wildes contention in his satire, The Importance of Being Earnest, that love begets bliss and marriage thwarts this course of bliss. Algernon Moncrieff spends very little time falling in love and the rest of the time striving toward engagement. Wilde demonstrates through him that once one becomes intent upon achieving a goal, the individuals motivation becomes a matter of action rather than truth. Algernon is no longer driven by a moral objective; instead, he becomes intent upon achieving a societal standard. The truth is rarely pure, and never simple (35). Love is truth. Marriage results in the systematic complication of love. Algernon becomes disillusioned in the process of seeking truth. In defining Algernons preconceived notion of marriage and then describing the subsequent earnest pursuit of engagement, Wilde achieves a con sequential climax that satirizes marriage. Algernon is a pompous man of seemingly strong, albeit unconventional, convictions. Wilde uses him for the sole purpose of mocking the sanctimonious institution of marriage. In the beginning of the play, Algernon considers Jacks intent to propose to Gwendolen to be business, not pleasure (30). Yet eventually Algernon also resolves to propose to Cicely, discrediting his own established belief: I really dont 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 (30). Algernon clearly, at one point, sees marriage as a means to an end. Once he meets Cecily, however, the idea of maintaining truth above reality is hard to rationalize; he wants only to move forward in the proper manner established by society. Upon initially hearing about Cicely, Algernon is intrigued. She is no more than a name on a cigarette case. After intense probing, Jack discloses Cicelys identity. Algernon then tells Jack, I would rather like to see Cicely (51). She suddenly becomes more of a name to Algernon, and he begins to pursue her as more than a person; she becomes his moral objective. When Jack reveals to Gwendolen his address in the country, Algernon secretly writes the address on his shirt-cuff (53) in hopes of going to meet Cicely. Shortly after his first encounter with her, he reveals to Jack, I am in love with Cicely, and that is everything (71). This newfound love is his truth. He admits to her, Cicely, ever since I first looked upon your wonderful and incomparable beauty, I have dared to love you wildly, passionately, devotedly, hopelessly (73). Yet Algernon quickly abandons the truth imbedded in love, his moral objective, and instead opts for convention. I dont care for anybody in the whole world but you. I love you, Cecily. You will marry me, wont you? (74). The irony displayed through Algernons self-contradiction is the pivotal progression that eventually results in Wildes intended resolution of the play Algernon reveals he simply wanted to be engaged to Cecily (88) to Jack, who quickly dismisses him. There is certainly no chance of your marrying Miss Cardew (88). It is this obstacle, and its respective denouement, which outlines the basis of Wildes thematic emphasis. Prospective marriage, by means of engagement, serves not only as an obstacle but also a resolution. In Algernons view, Cecily is the sweetest, dearest, prettiest girl in the whole world. And [he doesnt] care twopence about social possibilities (98). In actuality, however, it is the promise of social possibilities that motivate him to an end. For, it is his eventual conformity to societal norms that destroys the moral truth he once held dear. By the time Wilde establishes definite engagement for the couple, Algernon and Cicely embrace, and the play ends. As Algernon said in Act 1, The excitement is all over (30). This anti-passionate climax epitomizes Wildes sardonic wit, humoring a societal institution. Algernon achieve s what he believes he wants, but loses his motivation in the process. Marriage, at one point, seem[ed] to be very problematic to Algernon. His

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