English

Read the statement from a paper on The Importance of Being Earnest .

The Importance of Being Earnest contains the features of a comedy of manners.

Which excerpt from the play best supports the statement?

Merriman. Mr. Ernest Worthing has just driven over from the station.

Algernon. It is much pleasanter being here with you.

Miss Prism. No married man is ever attractive except to his wife.

Chasuble. Mr. Worthing, I offer you my sincere condolence.

Read the passage from The Importance of Being Earnest .

Lady Bracknell. . . . [Turns to Jack.] Apprised, sir, of my daughter’s sudden flight by her trusty maid, whose confidence I purchased by means of a small coin, I followed her at once by a luggage train. Her unhappy father is, I am glad to say, under the impression that she is attending a more than usually lengthy lecture by the University Extension Scheme on the Influence of a permanent income on Thought. I do not propose to undeceive him. Indeed I have never undeceived him on any question. I would consider it wrong. But of course, you will clearly understand that all communication between yourself and my daughter must cease immediately from this moment.

How does Wilde poke fun at Victorian society in the passage? Check all that apply.

Lady Bracknell says her maid is trustworthy but has to bribe her to get help.

The names of the college and class seem reasonable to Gwendolen’s father.

Gwendolen’s father appears to be an unhappy man.

Lady Bracknell says it is wrong to be honest with her husband.

Lady Bracknell does not approve of Gwendolen dating Jack.

Miss Prism. . . . The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.

How does the epigram affect this scene?

How does the epigram affect this scene?

It suggests the serious idea that tidy endings are uncommon in real life.

It explains the humorous idea that bad endings are usually happy.

It introduces the pessimistic idea that happy endings only happen in stories.

It reveals the optimistic idea that most endings are a good thing.

Read the beginning of The Importance of Being Earnest .

Title: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

The Persons in the Play John Worthing, J.P. Algernon Moncrieff Rev. Canon Chasuble, D.D. Merriman, Butler Lane, Manservant Lady Bracknell Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax Cecily Cardew Miss Prism, Governess

First Act SCENE Morning-room in Algernon’s flat in Half-Moon Street. The room is luxuriously and artistically furnished. The sound of a piano is heard in the adjoining room.

[Lane is arranging afternoon tea on the table, and after the music has ceased, Algernon enters.]

Algernon. Did you hear what I was playing, Lane?

Lane. I didn’t think it polite to listen, sir.

Which analysis of the beginning of The Importance of Being Earnest is the most accurate?

The setting at the opening of the play makes a comment on the benefits of being married.

The names of the characters in the play help Wilde illustrate the differences between social classes.

The title is helpful in establishing the play as a comedy of manners because it makes use of witty wordplay.

The first line of dialogue in the play helps Wilde emphasize a contrast between city and country life

Read the passage from  The Importance of Being Earnest .

Lady Bracknell. . . . I think some preliminary inquiry on my part would not be out of place. Mr. Worthing, is Miss Cardew at all connected with any of the larger railway stations in London? I merely desire information. Until yesterday I had no idea that there were any families or persons whose origin was a Terminus.

Which excerpt from the passage contains a paradox and a pun?

“my part would not be out of place.”

“larger railway stations in London.”

“I merely desire information.”

“whose origin was a Terminus.”

What literary device does Oscar Wilde use in the title of his play The Importance of Being Earnest ?

epigram

understatement

pun

paradox

Read the excerpt from H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds .

The peculiar V-shaped mouth with its pointed upper lip, the absence of brow ridges, the absence of a chin beneath the wedgelike lower lip, the incessant quivering of this mouth, the Gorgon groups of tentacles, the tumultuous breathing of the lungs in a strange atmosphere, the evident heaviness and painfulness of movement due to the greater gravitational energy of the earth—above all, the extraordinary intensity of the immense eyes—were at once vital, intense, inhuman, crippled and monstrous. There was something fungoid in the oily brown skin, something in the clumsy deliberation of the tedious movements unspeakably nasty.

Which statement best describes how Wells conveys his purpose with this excerpt?

He provides quotes from experts.

He shares data about the creature.

He appeals to the reader’s beliefs.

He uses detailed physical description

Which statement best explains the aesthetic elements of a literary work?

Aesthetic elements establish background.

Aesthetic elements distinguish characters.

Aesthetic elements impart an artistic quality.

Aesthetic elements offer a thematic message.

How do authors impart aesthetic elements? Check all that apply.

through their word choice

through persuasive argument

through their tone

through facts and data

through the story’s mood

Which excerpt from Act I of The Importance of Being Earnest . is an understatement?

“I am always telling that to your poor uncle, but he never seems to take much notice . . . as far as any improvement in his ailment goes.”

“Well, really, Gwendolen, I must say that I think there are lots of other much nicer names.”

“Gwendolen, I must get christened at once—I mean we must get married at once. There is no time to be lost.”

“You know that I love you, and you led me to believe, Miss Fairfax, that you were not absolutely indifferent to me.”

Read the excerpt from Act II of  The Importance of Being Earnest .

Cecily. [Rather shy and confidingly.] Dearest Gwendolen, there is no reason why I should make a secret of it to you. Our little county newspaper is sure to chronicle the fact next week. Mr. Ernest Worthing and I are engaged to be married.

Gwendolen. [Quite politely, rising.] My darling Cecily, I think there must be some slight error. Mr. Ernest Worthing is engaged to me. The announcement will appear in the Morning Post on Saturday at the latest.

Part of this excerpt would be considered an understatement because

when Cecily says, “There is no reason why I should make a secret of it to you,” she actually does have a reason to keep it a secret.

when Cecily says, “Mr. Ernest Worthing and I are engaged to be married,” she is actually making a joke.

when Gwendolen says, “I think there must be some slight error,” she is actually referring to the large error of Cecily saying she is engaged to Ernest.

when Gwendolen says, “The announcement will appear in the Morning Post on Saturday,” she is not telling the truth.

Read the excerpt from Act I of  The Importance of Being Earnest .

Algernon. Well, we might trot round to the Empire at ten?

Jack. Oh, no! I can’t bear looking at things. It is so silly.

Algernon. Well, what shall we do?

Jack. Nothing!

Algernon. It is awfully hard work doing nothing. However, I don’t mind hard work where there is no definite object of any kind.

What effect does the paradox in this excerpt have on the reader?

It causes the reader to think about the multiple meanings of the word bear in the play.

It causes the reader to think about how doing nothing should be easy, but in fact can be quite hard.

It causes the reader to realize that doing nothing is never hard work and that Algernon is wrong.

It causes the reader to realize that Jack thinks doing something is always better than doing nothing

Which excerpt from The War of the Worlds  uses a sensory detail for aesthetic impact?

“Henderson stood up with his spade in his hand.”

“Ogilvy told him all that he had seen.”

“The two men hurried back at once to the common, and found the cylinder still lying in the same position.”

“Air was either entering or escaping at the rim with a thin, sizzling sound.”

Read the excerpt from Act II of The Importance of Being Earnest .

Jack. Oh! I don’t see much fun in being christened along with other babies. It would be childish. Would half-past five do?

Chasuble. Admirably! Admirably! [Takes out watch.] And now, dear Mr. Worthing, I will not intrude any longer into a house of sorrow. I would merely beg you not to be too much bowed down by grief. What seem to us bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.

Miss Prism. This seems to me a blessing of an extremely obvious kind.

Which two definitions of the word blessing does the pun in this excerpt rely on?

approval from someone in charge

a religious ceremony called a christening

encouragement from a friend

grace said at a meal

something that brings one happiness

Read the excerpt from Act I of The Importance of Being Earnest .

Jack. My dear Algy, you talk exactly as if you were a dentist. It is very vulgar to talk like a dentist when one isn’t a dentist. It produces a false impression.

The main effect of the pun in the excerpt is that it

confuses the reader.

creates a funny moment.

creates a serious moment.

explains something to the reader.

Read the passage from The Importance of Being Earnest .

Gwendolen. [To Jack.] Darling!

Algernon. [To Cecily.] Darling! [They fall into each other’s arms.]

[Enter Merriman. When he enters he coughs loudly, seeing the situation.]

Merriman. Ahem! Ahem! Lady Bracknell!

Jack. Good heavens!

[Enter Lady Bracknell. The couples separate in alarm. Exit Merriman.]

Lady Bracknell. Gwendolen! What does this mean?

In contrast to reading the scene, seeing the staged version of the scene would improve its aesthetic impact by allowing the audience to

see a single narrator, thereby adding to the drama.

watch the actors’ reactions, thereby adding to the humor.

witness different characters, thereby adding more tension.

view it being told in the past tense, thereby adding excitement.

Read the passage from The Importance of Being Earnest .

Gwendolen. Let us preserve a dignified silence.

Cecily. Certainly. It’s the only thing to do now. [Enter Jack followed by Algernon. They whistle some dreadful popular air from a British Opera.]

Gwendolen. This dignified silence seems to produce an unpleasant effect.

Cecily. A most distasteful one.

Gwendolen. But we will not be the first to speak.

Cecily. Certainly not.

Gwendolen. Mr. Worthing, I have something very particular to ask you. Much depends on your reply.

Wilde uses the exchange between Gwendolen and Cecily to

praise the strict social codes of Victorian society.

show the superiority of women in Victorian society.

mock the formal courtship rules of Victorian society.

explain the importance of romance in Victorian society.

Read the excerpt from Act III of  The Importance of Being Earnest .

Lady Bracknell. That does not seem to me to be a grave objection. Thirty-five is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years. Lady Dumbleton is an instance in point. To my own knowledge she has been thirty-five ever since she arrived at the age of forty, which was many years ago now. I see no reason why our dear Cecily should not be even still more attractive at the age you mention than she is at present. There will be a large accumulation of property.

Which Victorian social codes are reflected in this excerpt? Check all that apply.

the equality among the different social classes

the significance of being polite and mannerly

the emphasis on importance of appearances

the stress on etiquette in formal courtships

the importance of wealth and social ranking

Read the excerpt from Act III of  The Importance of Being Earnest .

Lady Bracknell. [With a shiver, crossing to the sofa and sitting down.] I do not know whether there is anything peculiarly exciting in the air of this particular part of Hertfordshire, but the number of engagements that go on seems to me considerably above the proper average that statistics have laid down for our guidance.

What Victorian social code is reflected in Lady Bracknell’s disapproval of the number of engagements?

the belief that romance should play a large role in engagements

the perception that quick engagements go against religious beliefs

the belief that engagements and marriages should follow social rules

the perception that it is important to marry within one’s social class

Read the excerpt from Act III of  The Importance of Being Earnest .

Jack. [In a pathetic voice.] Miss Prism, more is restored to you than this hand-bag. I was the baby you placed in it.

Miss Prism. [Amazed.] You?

Jack. [Embracing her.] Yes . . . mother!

Miss Prism. [Recoiling in indignant astonishment.] Mr. Worthing! I am unmarried!

What do you learn about Miss Prism from this excerpt?

She believes in strict adherence to religion.

She believes in the division of social classes.

She believes in adherence to societal expectations.

She believes in morality over outward appearances

Read the passage 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.

In the passage, Wilde uses to achieve an aesthetic impact.

Read the passage from  The Importance of Being Earnest .

Jack. . . . Old Mr. Thomas Cardew, who adopted me when I was a little boy, made me in his will guardian to his grand-daughter, Miss Cecily Cardew. Cecily, who addresses me as her uncle from motives of respect that you could not possibly appreciate, lives at my place in the country under the charge of her admirable governess, Miss Prism. Algernon. Where is that place in the country, by the way?Jack. That is nothing to you, dear boy. You are not going to be invited . . .

By refusing to let Algernon meet Cecily, what character trait does Jack display?

protectiveness

mischievousness

jealousy

compassion

Read the passage from an essay on The Importance of Being Earnest .

Chasuble. . . . Your brother was, I believe, unmarried, was he not?

Jack. Oh yes.

Miss Prism. [Bitterly.] People who live entirely for pleasure usually are.

How is the passage an example of Wilde achieving his overall purpose in writing the play?

Wilde uses realism to instruct the audience so they approve of the marriage.

Wilde uses sarcasm to shame the audience into embracing the social code.

Wilde uses humor to entertain the audience while he comments on marriage.

Wilde uses criticism to instruct the audience about the importance of morality.

Read the passage from  The Importance of Being Earnest .

Cecily. [Coming over very slowly.] But I don’t like German. It isn’t at all a becoming language. I know perfectly well that I look quite plain after my German lesson. Miss Prism. Child, you know how anxious your guardian is that you should improve yourself in every way. He laid particular stress on your German, as he was leaving for town yesterday. Indeed, he always lays stress on your German when he is leaving for town. Cecily. Dear Uncle Jack is so very serious! Sometimes he is so serious that I think he cannot be quite well.

From the passage, the reader can conclude that Cecily

plans on traveling abroad.

wishes she were smarter.

values looks over knowledge.

wants to be more responsible.

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