Food is Not Always What it appears to be
Food is and will always be important for human survival. Often when we hear the word food; health is the first thing that comes in our minds. We see food as a substance that we consume in order to provide nutritional support to our body and we tend to forget that food is more than just food. Sometimes we associate food with culture, customs and values. Maple syrup represents Canada, croissant represents France, and pasta represents Italy and so on. In the importance of being earnest, Oscar Wilde use food as a method to describe and ridicule the Victorian society and he also uses food as a sort of a weapon to. Cucumber sandwiches are randomly ...view middle of the document...
Algernon feared the consequences, and as a result concealed the truth. The cucumber sandwiches symbolize the need to be accepted within society and its commodities. Wilde devises the cucumber sandwich discussion to provide insight regarding the power shift from men to women at this time.
A power struggle often arises as aspects of society change. With feminism entering the limelight, one predicts there to be uproar from the male gender. Unexpectedly, In Act II, the cattiness is unleashed when Cecily and Gwendolen discover they share lovers. As one of the most comedic events in “The Importance of Being Earnest,” this scene contains hidden symbols. Drama climaxes as snacks are being served with these statements:
CECILY: May I offer you some tea, Miss Fairfax?
GWENDOLEN [with elaborate politeness]: Thank you. [Aside.] Detestable girl! But I require tea!
CECILY [sweetly]: Sugar?
GWENDOLEN [superciliously]: No, thank you. Sugar is not fashionable any more.
Cecily looks angrily at her, takes up the tongs and puts four lumps of sugar into the cup
CECILY [severely]: Cake or bread and butter?
GWENDOLEN [in a bored manner]: Bread and butter, please. Cake is rarely seen at the best houses nowadays.
CECILY [cuts a very large slice of cake and puts it on the tray] (p.38, Act II)
Cecily uses her wit for the sole purpose of disrupting Gwendolen’s false composure. Previously, both Cecily and Gwendolen were acting passively with distaste for one another, but here there is a shift in tactics. Food is portrayed as a weapon while emotions are bubbling to the surface. The kind gesture of serving food has been turned on its side as the women banter to gain power. Gwendolen repeatedly states ideas regarding appearances exemplifying the pressures to harmonize with society. Competition between women to achieve the lead female status mirrors Algernon and Jack’s ambitions for lead male. Between, and within both sexes, unity is unheard of. Without agreement, there is little chance for successful community relations.
If the women are struggling to maintain composure while in the lead, how must the men, as...