I had forgotten the last time I giggled, while reading a Classic. The book 'The Importance of being Earnest' by Oscar Wilde made me laugh again. I expected it to be just an another serious play, when I wanted to read it for the Popsugar reading challenge . On the contrary, it turned out to be a humorous one.
The play tells the story of two gentlemen, John and Algernon and their 'bunburying'. John pretends as a man called 'Earnest' in front of his love interest Gwendolen, her mother Lady Bracknell and her cousin Algernon. John reveals his true identity to Algy, when he is caught in a suspicious situation. John tells that 'Earnest' is his imaginary troubled brother, who is always in need of his assistance and how it helps him to escape from the duties and responsibilities to his ward Cecily Cardew and her governess Miss Prism.Then Algy also confesses about his imaginary deceased friend 'Bunbury,who helps him to visit the country often. John smells trouble when Gwendolen accepts his proposal, telling her desire to marry a man named 'Earnest' . He fails to tell the truth. In the mean time, Algy goes to the coutry to visit John's house. He acts as 'Earnest' in front of them. A number of funny incidents take place, when John and Gwendolen also suddenly appear at the Manor house, thus creating a chaos over 'Earnest' at the house.
Unlike the other classics, this is simple and easy to read. I took nearly two hours to finish reading it(with small breaks in between). A quick read!. The dialogues are so funny and made me laugh out loud. But thinking again, I find the ironies in them. Oscar Wilde used the sarcastic dialogues to mock at the social customs of the Victorian era. I think that we can still find many 'Earnest' in the society and women senselessly wooing on them (isn't that absurd?). The newspapers tell such stories daily. This is a timeless and brilliant satire. This play reminds us to be earnest.
I also watched the movie version(2002) starring Colin Firth, Rupert Everett, Jude Dench and Reese Witherspoon. There were slight differences from the book. Anyhow, I enjoyed watching the characters on the screen. It was really entertaining.
To sum up, this is an enjoyable book. Recommend this to all Bookaholics. If you have already read the book, please share your views on it.