Lady Windermere's Fan Themes

Lady Windermere's Fan Themes


The main preoccupation of the characters in the play is maintaining the appearances and creating the illusion that everything is fine. For this, Lord Windermere is willing to lie to his wife, letting her believe that he is having an affair, while in reality he is trying to protect his and her reputation. While one may think that what Lord Windermere had done was out of love, at the core of his actions stood the desire to maintain appearances in a society who only care about what is on the surface. This vanity almost costs Lord Windermere his family, never revealing the truth about his wife’s mother.


While at first Mrs. Erlynne can be seen as being a heartless person, blackmailing her daughter’s husband and threatening to destroy her daughter’s reputation, she changes drastically once she finds the letter written by Lady Windermere revealing her plans to abandon her husband for another man. Then, Mrs. Erlynne becomes a real mother, a person willing to do everything for her daughter. Mrs. Erlynne gambles her own reputation just to save her daughter’s reputation, knowing really well that the man she wanted to marry may not want to marry her after he finds about the compromising situation in which she was found. At the same time, Mrs. Erlynne refuses to reveal the truth to her daughter and tell her that she is her mother, knowing what that will do to Lady Windermere’s reputation. Through all this actions, Mrs. Erlynne exhibited a selfless attitude and true love to her daughter, protecting Lady Windermere and stopping her from doing a mistake that would have ruined her life.

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