The Constraints of Morality
Morality and its limits on society are frequently discussed in The Importance of Being Earnest. Algernon believes that the servant class should provide a moral example for the upper classes. Reading a personal cigarette case, according to Jack, is “ungentlemanly.” “More than half of modern culture is based on what one should not read,” Algernon observes. These constraints and assumptions imply a stringent moral code that existed in Victorian society, but Wilde is unconcerned with the subject of what is and isn’t ethical. Instead, he mocks the Victorian concept of morality as a rigorous set of laws dictating what individuals should and should not do.