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How is the mystery of the identity of Jack Worthing revealed at the end of the Importance of Being Earnest?

How is the mystery of the identity of Jack Worthing revealed at the end of the Importance of Being Earnest?

Hello from English with Saddam! I’m Md Saddam Hossain, a fellow English student and founder of a leading English literature coaching center in Narayanganj. Today, let’s delve into the content: “How is the mystery of the identity of Jack Worthing revealed at the end of the Importance of Being Earnest?” in the 4th-year Modern Drama subject.



Oscar Wilde (1854 –1900) was an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet. “The Importance of Being Earnest” is a masterpiece of his literary career. In the drama’s conclusion, the characters unravel the mystery surrounding Jack Worthing’s identity. A sequence of revelations and confrontations exposes the truth behind Jack’s origin and unveils his real name, ultimately bringing the story to its final resolution.



The revelation begins when Lady Bracknell, opposing Jack’s engagement to her daughter Gwendolen, discovers a handbag containing a baby’s identification tag. Jack, shocked and confused, confesses that she found him as a baby left in a handbag at Victoria Station. This admission prompts Lady Bracknell to dig deeper into Jack’s background when she asks his father’s Christian name. This question sets the stage for the unraveling of Jack’s true identity. Jack, still uncertain about his past, then responds to her, 



“I have never really looked at the matter. But I think it was… John.”



As the conversation progresses, it is revealed that Jack’s real name is Ernest. Algernon, Jack’s friend and Gwendolen’s cousin, admits to the trick of creating a fictional brother named Ernest to escape his social obligations. Then Algernon says, 



Well, in the first place, girls never marry the men they flirt with. Girls don’t think it right.”



This confession leads to the discovery that Jack has been leading a double life. It assumes Ernest’s identity when he goes to the city.



Further complications arise when it becomes apparent that Jack’s ward, Cecily, has fallen in love with the idea of Ernest, the imaginary brother. Algernon, pretending to be Ernest, encounters Cecily, and their affectionate exchanges further blur the lines between truth and fiction. However, the truth finally emerges when Jack confronts Algernon about his deception, exclaiming,



“My dear fellow, there is nothing improbable about my explanation at all. In fact, it’s perfectly ordinary.”



Later, in the play’s climax, under Jack’s questioning, Miss Prism reveals that she accidentally left the baby in a handbag on the Brighton railway line. Jack reveals that he was the baby left in the handbag, disclosing his real name as Ernest John Moncrieff. He returns with this very handbag. Jack tells her he is the baby. Lady Bracknell drops the bombshell that Jack is her sister’s son, making him Algernon’s big brother.



Curiosity about his original name leads Jack to discover that he is named after his dad, and his full name is Ernest John Moncrieff. Realizing this, Jack shares with Lady Bracknell that he finally gets the crucial importance of being earnest for the first time. Thus, the novel ends with his saying,



“I’ve now realized for the first time in my life the vital Importance of Being Earnest.”



The confirmation of Jack’s birthright satisfies Lady Bracknell’s concerns about social status and lineage. The resolution fosters acceptance of the relationships between Jack, Gwendolen, Algernon, and Cecily, finally resolving the mystery of Jack’s identity.



In summary, the mystery of Jack Worthing’s identity is unveiled in “The Importance of Being Earnest” through a sequence of revelations and difficulties. The confession of Algernon’s deception all contribute to the final revelation that Jack’s real name is Ernest John Moncrieff. This revelation not only resolves the uncertainty surrounding Jack’s origin but also paves the way for the characters to find happiness and acceptance in their relationships.


Thank you for reading our blog. We are dedicated to supporting English literature students by providing high-quality handnotes. We hope you thoroughly enjoyed our exploration of How the mystery of Jack Worthing’s identity is revealed at the end of The Importance of Being Earnest. Stay tuned for additional insights, questions, and answers related to Hons 4th Year Modern Drama. We look forward to staying connected and continuing this literary journey together.



You can read the following questions and answers of Modern Drama, Hons 4th year:


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Saddam Hossain

Founder & Language Instructor

Apart from English language and literature skill, I’m a Digital Marketer & Content Writer at My Writing Pen, BD Business Finder, NY Bizlisting.

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