The Importance of Being Earnest Summary and Analysis of Act II, Scene 2. Buy Study Guide. Act II - Part 2: Cecily enters the garden to water the flowers, and Algernon tells her that Jack has Jack enters the garden, and he and Gwendolen kiss. . Preface · First Act · Second Act · Third Act · Sources. and find homework help for other The Importance of Being Earnest questions at First, Wilde foreshadowed the relationship on Act I, when Jack told Algernon that to meet and that the relationship of Cecily and Gwen will grow until they call. A summary of Act III, Part One in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. Cecily asks Algernon why he pretended to be Jack's brother, and Algernon says it Lady Bracknell asks about Cecily's background, asking first, rather acidly, being Ernest to her was merely the result of having met her through Algernon.
Oh, but it is not Mr. Ernest Worthing who is my guardian. It is his brother—his elder brother. I am sorry to say they have not been on good terms for a long time. And now that I think of it I have never heard any man mention his brother.
The subject seems distasteful to most men. Cecily, you have lifted a load from my mind. I was growing almost anxious. It would have been terrible if any cloud had come across a friendship like ours, would it not?
Of course you are quite, quite sure that it is not Mr. Ernest Worthing who is your guardian? Our little county newspaper is sure to chronicle the fact next week. Ernest Worthing and I are engaged to be married. Ernest Worthing is engaged to me. The announcement will appear in the Morning Post on Saturday at the latest.
Ernest proposed to me exactly ten minutes ago. If you would care to verify the incident, pray do so. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.
I am so sorry, dear Cecily, if it is any disappointment to you, but I am afraid I have the prior claim. It would distress me more than I can tell you, dear Gwendolen, if it caused you any mental or physical anguish, but I feel bound to point out that since Ernest proposed to you he clearly has changed his mind.
Do you allude to me, Miss Cardew, as an entanglement? It becomes a pleasure.
The Importance of Being Earnest: Second Act, Part 2
Do you suggest, Miss Fairfax, that I entrapped Ernest into an engagement? This is no time for wearing the shallow mask of manners. When I see a spade I call it a spade. It is obvious that our social spheres have been widely different. He carries a salver, table cloth, and plate stand. Cecily is about to retort. The presence of the servants exercises a restraining influence, under which both girls chafe.
Shall I lay tea here as usual, Miss? Cecily and Gwendolen glare at each other. Are there many interesting walks in the vicinity, Miss Cardew? From the top of one of the hills quite close one can see five counties. So glad you like it, Miss Fairfax. I had no idea there were any flowers in the country. Oh, flowers are as common here, Miss Fairfax, as people are in London. Personally I cannot understand how anybody manages to exist in the country, if anybody who is anybody does.
The country always bores me to death. This is what the newspapers call agricultural depression, is it not? I believe the aristocracy are suffering very much from it just at present.
It is almost an epidemic amongst them, I have been told. May I offer you some tea, Miss Fairfax? But I require tea! Sugar is not fashionable any more. Cake is rarely seen at the best houses nowadays. Gwendolen drinks the tea and makes a grimace. Puts down cup at once, reaches out her hand to the bread and butter, looks at it, and finds it is cake. You have filled my tea with lumps of sugar, and though I asked most distinctly for bread and butter, you have given me cake. I am known for the gentleness of my disposition, and the extraordinary sweetness of my nature, but I warn you, Miss Cardew, you may go too far.
From the moment I saw you I distrusted you. I felt that you were false and deceitful. I am never deceived in such matters. My first impressions of people are invariably right.
It seems to me, Miss Fairfax, that I am trespassing on your valuable time. No doubt you have many other calls of a similar character to make in the neighbourhood. May I ask if you are engaged to be married to this young lady? What could have put such an idea into your pretty little head?
The gentleman whose arm is at present round your waist is my guardian, Mr. I beg your pardon? This is Uncle Jack. May I ask you—are you engaged to be married to this young lady? I felt there was some slight error, Miss Cardew.
The gentleman who is now embracing you is my cousin, Mr. Are you called Algernon? I cannot deny it. Is your name really John? I could deny anything if I liked. But my name certainly is John. It has been John for years. My poor wounded Cecily! My sweet wronged Gwendolen! Jack and Algernon groan and walk up and down.
Worthing, there is just one question I would like to be permitted to put to you.
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Where is your brother Ernest? We are both engaged to be married to your brother Ernest, so it is a matter of some importance to us to know where your brother Ernest is at present. It is the first time in my life that I have ever been reduced to such a painful position, and I am really quite inexperienced in doing anything of the kind. However, I will tell you quite frankly that I have no brother Ernest.
I have no brother at all. I never had a brother in my life, and I certainly have not the smallest intention of ever having one in the future. Not even of an kind. I am afraid it is quite clear, Cecily, that neither of us is engaged to be married to any one. It is not a very pleasant position for a young girl suddenly to find herself in. Let us go into the house. They will hardly venture to come after us there. This ghastly state of things is what you call Bunburying, I suppose?
The Importance of Being Earnest: Second Act, Part 2
Yes, and a perfectly wonderful Bunbury it is. The most wonderful Bunbury I have ever had in my life. One has a right to Bunbury anywhere one chooses. Every serious Bunburyist knows that. Well, one must be serious about something, if one wants to have any amusement in life.
I happen to be serious about Bunburying. About everything, I should fancy. You have such an absolutely trivial nature.
Well, the only small satisfaction I have in the whole of this wretched business is that your friend Bunbury is quite exploded. And a very good thing too. And not a bad thing either.
As for your conduct towards Miss Cardew, I must say that your taking in a sweet, simple, innocent girl like that is quite inexcusable. To say nothing of the fact that she is my ward. I can see no possible defence at all for your deceiving a brilliant, clever, thoroughly experienced young lady like Miss Fairfax.
Gwendolen & Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest: Relationship & Quotes | danunah.info
To say nothing of the fact that she is my cousin. I wanted to be engaged to Gwendolen, that is all. Well, I simply wanted to be engaged to Cecily. There is certainly no chance of your marrying Miss Cardew. Well, that is no business of yours. Only people like stock-brokers do that, and then merely at dinner parties. You seem to me to be perfectly heartless.
The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them. When I am in trouble, eating is the only thing that consoles me. Indeed, when I am in really great trouble, as any one who knows me intimately will tell you, I refuse everything except food and drink. At the present moment I am eating muffins because I am unhappy. Besides, I am particularly fond of muffins. I suppose a man may eat his own muffins in his own garden.
But you have just said it was perfectly heartless to eat muffins. I said it was perfectly heartless of you, under the circumstances. That is a very different thing. But the muffins are the same. Algy, I wish to goodness you would go. I never go without my dinner. No one ever does, except vegetarians and people like that.
Besides I have just made arrangements with Dr. Chasuble to be christened at a quarter to six under the name of Ernest. My dear fellow, the sooner you give up that nonsense the better. I made arrangements this morning with Dr. Chasuble to be christened myself at 5. Gwendolen would wish it. Besides, I have a perfect right to be christened if I like. Gwendolen has traveled to Jack's country house to surprise him, but he is out when she arrives, so she meets Cecily.
When the women first meet, Gwendolen finds out that Cecily is Jack's ward and feels somewhat threatened by Cecily's good looks. She says to her: I wish that you were fully forty-two, and more than usually plain for your age. Ernest has a strong upright nature. He is the very soul of truth and honour. Disloyalty would be as impossible to him as deception.
But even men of the noblest possible moral character are extremely susceptible to the influence of the physical charm of others. For one, the man Gwendolen describes as the ''soul of truth'' and incapable of deception has deceived her about his very identity. Secondly, by referring to Jack as ''Ernest,'' Gwendolen creates more confusion, since Cecily now believes that she is referring to the same Ernest that Cecily is also in love with.
Initial Argument In spite of the women's initial gushing about how much they like each other, they soon run into problems when each discovers that the other is engaged to marry ''Ernest. The conversation in which Gwendolen and Cecily discuss their claims to ''Ernest'' is very funny, and begins with a debate as to who has the better claim to him.
Gwendolen, for example, refers to her diary and tells Cecily: