The Importance of Being Earnest

Gwendolen is obviously as haughty and headstrong as her mother; how, then, can Lady Bracknell assert some measure of control over her?

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Lady Bracknell is a remarkable comic creation, the paragon of the Victorian lady who stresses good breeding above all else. But she is far from a flat stereotype. Wilde gives her some of his wittiest lines to bring out her quirky way of seeing the world, for example one of her most famous pronouncements: "To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness." Gwendolen appears self-centered and flighty. She really is no match for the dominant and witty Lady Bracknell.