What is the cause of Lady Bracknell’s rejection of Jack Worthing’s proposal to marry Gwendolen? Or, why does Lady Bracknell reject Jack’s proposal of marriage to Gwendolen Fairfax?
Introduction: Jack Worthing and Gwendolen Fairfax loves each other and wants to marry but Gwendolen’s mother rejects this proposal for Sunday reasons. By this rejection, Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) expresses the tendency of Victorian people.
A love affair of Jack and Gwendolen:
Jack Worthing comes to London with his name “Ernest” with the purposing marriage to Gwendolen Fairfax. Jack is Cecily’s guardian in the countryside. He has invented a very useful younger brother called Ernest whose wicket deeds and absurd manners of living often take him to London. Thus, Jack gets an opportunity to woo Gwendolen who is the daughter of Lady Bracknell. When Jack and Gwendolen are alone, Jack admits his feelings to Gwendolen and she admits that she likes him very much because she always wants to marry someone named Ernest. Gwendolen tells Jack:
“My idea has been to love someone of the name Ernest. There is something in this name that inspires absolute confidence.”
Jack is very happy, but he asks her whether she will love him or not if his name is not Ernest. She frankly tells that she will of course love him. Then Jack offers her, and she accepts.
Inhuman Mentality of Lady Bracknell:
When Lady Bracknell comes to know that her daughter, Gwendolen falls in love with Jack, she shows her good attitude in front of her daughter and instructs her daughter to wait in the car. Then, Lady Bracknell questions Jack about his habits, his income, his background, and so on. Firstly, Jack informs her that his age is twenty-nine, he does not smoke, and his income is between seven and eight thousand pounds a year. Lady Bracknell is quite satisfied with all this information. But when Jack says that he is an orphan, found in a handbag on the train, Lady Bracknell refuses Jack’s proposal of marriage to Gwendolen on strong terms:
“You can hardly imagine that I and Lord Bracknell would dream of allowing our only daughter- a girl brought up with the utmost care – to marry into a cloakroom, and form an alliance with a parcel!”
Conclusion: In termination, we can say that Lady Bracknell rejects Jack Worthing’s proposal to marry Gwendolen because his parentage is unknown which is why Jace is socially unacceptable.