The play says many things about marriage. One is that marriage can be quite complicated when there is deceit even if the feelings involved are genuine. Another is that there are so many trivial things that society considers important that disregards the true meaning of marriage. Another is that parental consent and money still play an important role in matrimony.
2. What is the significance of the names?
The word Earnest means sincere. However, the play showed how that sincerity is downplayed by the many trivial things that society expects from individuals. Ms. Prisms name is also significant because it was her character that finally shed light on the true background of Jack who later became truly Earnest.
3. Suggest some of the things that Wilde is poking fun at in this play.
Wilde made fun of the way women can be so assuming of relationships as can be seen with Cecilys account of how she and Algy became engaged and how Gwendolyn fled from her mother to go to Jack. The author also made fun of the way society can be deceived by many aspects of a person beside his true self (e.g. names and money). This was especially evident in the way the name Earnest became so important that Algy and Jack had wanted to be re-baptized with it. Marriage was also funny because it gave too much importance on money and family background before it considers the true person.
4. What is your favorite character and why?
I loved the character of Ms. Prism because at first she seemed to be only a minor character but in the end, the story actually centered on her misgivings.