In The Importance of Being Earnest, the respectable young Jack Worthing, bored with his upright life in the country as the guardian of his cousin Cecily, often goes to the city under the name Ernest, who he pretends is his wastrel younger brother. When his friend Algy discovers this duplicity, he goes to the country to woo Cecily, all the while pretending to be Ernest. This play mocks both the Victorian obsession with marriage and the upper-class preoccupation with rules and being proper.

Summary of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Below is a list of The Importance of Being Earnest Cliff Notes and The Importance of Being Earnest SparkNotes. Not looking for a The Importance of Being Earnest summary? Search above for 5000 other chapter summaries, curated from popular sites like SparkNotes and Cliff Notes.

The Importance of Being Earnest Chapter Summaries (Free)


Review: The most popular website for book notes. SparkNotes was created by students for students, and their summaries are accessible and extremely well-written. Besides the usual plot overview, chapter summaries, and character analysis, SparkNotes differentiates itself with a section discussing themes, motifs, and symbols.

2Cliffs Notes

Review: The original provider of professionally-written study guides, Cliffs Notes were available in print form before the Internet even existed. Their content is very comprehensive and includes an analysis of characters, detailed chapter by chapter summaries, critical essays, essay topics, and many other sections.

3Pink Monkey

Review: Their chapter summaries aren't as good as other providers, but PinkMonkey often has interesting insights that aren't mentioned elsewhere on the Internet. For example, they go over literary elements (like setting, conflict, and mood), compare and contrast, and symbolism/motifs. It's a good site if you want to find a unique fact or angle that other students don't know about.


Review: You won't get any frills with GradeSaver -- just the content you expect. Their study guides include a full plot summary, themes and character analysis, study questions, and the e-text of the book. One hidden gem is their collection of literature essays, but you'll have to pay for it.