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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-07-25 16:49
Saints vs Sinners
A Woman of No Importance - Oscar Wilde

The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.


Gerard: I want to go with Lord Illingworth, but I cannot abandon my mother.

Mrs. Arbuthnot: You are all mine, son.

Lord Illingworth: You can’t have him all for yourself, not anymore.


The only sin of Mrs. Arbuthnot catches up with her 20 years after she commits it. She has to give up her son to the one who destroyed her life by disgracing her. She has to let her only son embrace his father, whom Gerald thought was dead. Mrs. Arbuthnot has only one way to save her son and that is by telling him the truth no matter how hard it is.


“A Woman of no Importance” is an enjoyable read. I loved the way dichotomies are distorted. Saints are rejected while sinners are accepted with open arms. Disgraceful practices linger by and no one seems to pay attention to them. They are even encouraged. Dialogues contain what people think more than what they actually say, things that one is not supposed to say. Dialogues reveal what women would rather not tell and be, and men are portrayed as how they are loved because of their flaws and despised because of their intellect.


Mrs. Arbuthnot is a saint even though she is sinful. Her sin belongs to the past and even if it always there, as her son, she is a saint because “the only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” She tries to repent by dedicating her life to her son. She gives up everything for him, even her name. Her name caught my attention as being “are but not.” She becomes a nameless creature because of a wicked man, an“Ill personage” whose actions only bring misery. His worth is limited to his position and not to his virtues, as he has none. Lord Illingworth never changes. He tries to seduce and disgrace every woman whom he develops an interest but when he realizes that he has a son, something awakens in him. Regret. His only regret is that because of his actions, he cannot get to love and keep his son as his legitimate child. But even that regret fades quickly.

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quote 2015-05-08 11:07
It is perfectly monstrous the way people go about, nowadays, saying things against one behind one's back that are absolutely and entirely true.
A Woman of No Importance - Oscar Wilde

Lord Ilingworth, A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde

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quote 2015-05-08 11:05
The one advantage of playing with fire, Lady Caroline, is that one never gets even singed. It is the people who don't know how to play with it who get burned up.
A Woman of No Importance - Oscar Wilde

Mrs Allonby, A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde

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review 2013-01-19 00:00
A Woman of No Importance - Oscar Wilde A Woman of No Importance - Oscar Wilde Not overly imaginative, this story, but well told. This is quick read, but as such, even less excuse not to read it.
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review 2012-03-12 00:00
A Woman of No Importance - Oscar Wilde This is Wilde at his best. A firmly plotted satirical drama designed as a social commentary and full of absolutely stunningly witty lines.

"All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy."
"No man does. That is his."

If I've learnt one thing from this play I think it can suffice to say that I should never go to Oscar Wilde for 'pick-up lines.' For much of the clever banter in his play could prove offensive if taken in the wrong context. And the advice of trying to kiss a puritan lady and then falling in love with her if she slaps you with a glove doesn't bode well for today's company.

This is humour how I like it. Quick retorts and words that have been moulded and played with. You can almost sense how Wilde delights in playing with the words of his characters, making them dance for your - and for his - amusement.

Like Lady Windermere's Fan there is much that Wilde comments about in society. However he does it all with his tongue firmly in his cheek. I have to wonder if he was playing his own practical joke upon his society with each new play he penned.

In the end this is a play that can be read as easily as it can be imagined on a stage. That is the power of Wilde's charming wit and ability with words. So I encourage that you read this if you have not attempted any of Wilde's fanciful plays as of today.
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