Book Review – The Importance of Being Earnest

Two definitions provides for the word earnest are:

  1. serious and zealous in intention, purpose, or effort: an earnest worker.
  2. showing depth and sincerity of feeling: earnest words; an earnest entreaty.

Oscar Wilde, an Irish writer, wrote the short play The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People. This play is an exploration of what it means to be earnest, of course with some humor in the mix.

On my list of works to read by Oscar Wilde is The Picture of Dorian Gray. Instead, his play jumped up on the list because my friend will be in a production of the play next month, and I wanted to have read the play before seeing it live.

So, there is a made-up person in the play named Ernest (and this had to be intentional, especially with this play title) that two of the main characters, Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, pretend to be.

The novel was quite enjoyable and some of the humor reminded me of the mix-ups that happened in William Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.

It was enjoyable to see how two romances unfolded with two men pretending to be Ernest and who were essentially not being earnest.

It is only three acts and can certainly be read in one sitting. If you need a bit of light humor, check it out.

Rating: 4/5

Suggested Grades4th and Up
Guided Reading LevelN/A
Accelerated Reader Level4.5

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