Aestheticism in “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “The Dead”

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AESTHETICISM

Aestheticismin &quotThe Importance of Being Earnest&quot and &quotThe Dead&quot

Oscar Wilde`s &quotThe Importance of Being Earnest&quot and JamesJoyce’s &quotThe Dead&quot are perfect examples of aestheticismin literature. These works do not seek to promote any moral or socialvalues, either through character development or unfolding events. Thetwo works are different in their approach but are similar in how theypursue entertainment only. Wilde`s writing mocks major Victoriansocial institutions such as marriage and love. For instance, the playends in the celebration of three engagements that take place in lessthan five minutes. However, these engagements are not based classalignment as opposed to love. Similarly, Joyce`s &quotThe Dead&quotis obscure about the values of nationalism. On the one hand, there isMolly who is an ardent Irish nationalist. She has strong feelingsabout the unity of Ireland and expects the same from all Irishpeople. On the other hand, there is Conroy who cares less aboutnationalism. However, in the interaction between the two individuals,the story does not favor any side in regards to nationalism. Thus,the two short stories fail to promote any social values and advanceart for entertainment value only.