Importance of being earnest and oroonko

Our character is solely determined by how we behave and how we enforce our will on those around us.
In the novel, Oroonoko, the African Prince, is captured by the British along with his queen, Imoinda, whom he seems to adore. They were living happily on their land prior to the arrival of the British, who used their military might over Africans to conquer and enslave their leaders. The narrator establishes Oroonoko as a moral chief of the African people. On the contrary, the British seem to be driven by their greed for power thus impose their will on Oroonoko and wife by turning them into slaves. It is a show of how the English would use their imperial powers to subject others to pain unwillingly.

In the scenario involving Importance of Being Earnest, through a literary appreciation based on a comedy genre, depicts a group of casts who try their level bests to maintain personalities that are fictitious in order to escape social obligations which they perceive to be burdensome rather than obligatory. In such a scenario, they try to live a different world from the one they are supposedly meant to live. By so doing, they forfeit their actual nature and depict that of narcissist individuals. It is a perfect inclination of the way the English would intentionally relinquish the responsibilities meant to be used by their imperial powers and instead use them for their material gain.



The above mentioned literary appreciation is about the life of a prince who ended up living the life of slavery and servitude. It is a short prose fiction that tends to view how human beings sometimes let emotional attachments and connections to show the best in them. Because he was of Royal blood in pertinence to being a Prince, he is recognized as a Royal Slave.

Brief Summary

The story is about the life of Oroonoko who is an African Prince. He is genuinely in love with a village girl; Imoinda. However, the controversy here is that his grandfather is also in love with the same woman. Unluckily for the two of them, the person they share a profound connection towards gets sold out into slavery in a place that is under the British rule. Since Oroonoko's tribe is behind the supply of slaves and in-charge of slave trade in the region, he agrees to attend the meeting set by the Captain of the English Ship as he felt not only obliged to represent his family but also had the thought that it would be an excellent opportunity to talk on behalf of Imoinda and see if she could be released from the servitude. However, the meeting turns out to be a trick, and he is captured together with his guards who were in attendance and locked up like prisoners.

The captain of the ship then orders the ship to set sail having gotten the people he had endeared to have in his custody. However, in arriving at their destination, the Captain sells Oroonoko and his men into slavery to Tefry who is of British Descent. Luckily for Oroonoko who was named Caesar as is the custom with slaves, he finds Imoinda who had been named Clemene. They get together, and she gets pregnant however he is compelled to kill her and the unborn child to save them from the harsh condition and life. He is ruthlessly killed in his efforts to exert revenge on the people behind his pain and suffering.

Setting & Characterization

The story is woven in a rural and traditional setting in which the main trading activity that was still taking place was slave trade. Also, the way in which Oroonoko gets tricked then ends up being sold into slavery is a perfect depiction of the pre-colonial regime.

Connection to the thesis

Oroonko was a kind African Prince who treated his people kindly. However, the pain of being lied to which ended up leading him to being enslaved not only in the company of his men but also the woman he shares a profound connection to and it only serves to offset him. The circumstances make him chance for the worst when he makes the decision to take the lives of Clemene his beloved and the unborn child as he does not the child to be born in a life of misery and servitude. It was not the life he was born in and was not the life he envisioned that his child would have in his lifetime.

The Importance of Being Earnest

Background of the story

The story revolves around the life of Earnest and the characters around him. When one reads the title of the story for the first time, they feel as though the book narrates or instead gives the reasons that would encourage one to be intensely sincere in their own convictive ways. However, that is not the case as the author of the book seems to have chosen the title intentionally to be symbolic of Jack who happens to be Earnest’s brother. He apparently has a habit of pretending or rather taking his brother’s name indefinitely whenever he felt like it and went around parting in the comfort that he was doing so using his brother’s name and not his own. Most people had the prior perception that his brother, “Earnest” was an unruly person who was always up to no good when he was not at home. It’s the reason Jack had a leeway in having fun using his name at the expense of cleaning up the mess that his brother had made whenever he was not home.

Character Interplay

There are several instances in which Jack displays or rather pretends to be Earnest and tries to be in his shoes by doing the awful things that most people dislike him for having partaken in or even planned. While Earnest struggles to make a better character in order to clear his name from the disgrace list, Jack is busy tarnishing it by having fun around town in the pretense that he is cleaning Earnest's mess. This shows precisely how mistaken the friends Earnest had about the people around him as they had the notion that he was an evil individual which was not the real case. The fact that Jack was doing all the evil things by using Earnest's name gives the outright implication that he was the evil one and not the other way round.

Link to Thesis

In most cases in life, people pretend to be good so that they may be perceived as being good by either friends or relatives or even those around them. This is because how such people think about them determines the manner they are to act when they are around them. However, if that were not the case, then they would not mind how such people saw them. It is quite hard to act like a good person when in the real sense, we are burning with evil desires yet most individuals choose to do so at the expense of being good. The reason behind this is that they feel being good is normal and in most instances, it is associated with being boring.

In our case, Jack was kind while his brother Earnest was always mischievous. He felt that he was incomplete so he decided to try live the life that his brother was living by having fun in his name so that other people would not have the chance to judge him. The fact that he is trying to preserve his morality in the community by doing evil in the pretense that he is Earnest gives the implication that he is aware of the importance of doing what is right. However, in the eyes of the people reading the text, the only thing that Jack has is the name and not the character as the things he does do not justify the person that he had become.


People always act as good when someone is watching them and what they may be doing. The time that they decide to reveal themselves is when they are alone as it appears to be the perfect definitive moment. In most cases, the morality of individuals is pegged on the way they behave but what is normally not considered is the way they carry themselves when no one is watching. In the Surgeon’s Daughter by Walter Scott, old Fakir disguises himself as Hyder Ali I order to assume the throne. It clearly shows the extent to which human beings are willing to go to suit their personal needs and ambitions. All the three stories depict instances in which the personalities of the characters get dented, and they end up engaging in activities they would have otherwise not taken part in if at all they had no ulterior motive.

Oroonoko’s thirst for vengeance was fueled by the fact that he wanted the people who were behind his pain to suffer the same wrath as he. However, before he had been unwillingly kidnapped, he was a good leader who never had in any instant thought of hurting anyone. On the other hand, Jack takes up his brother’s personality since he is known to be a good person whereas his brother is recognized as problematic. He feels somewhat superior when using his brother’s name rather than his own which makes him far much more immoral as opposed to Earnest. Conclusively, the personalities of the characters have been defined by their moral nature.

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