Lesson 1 (from Act 1)
Ennui is a central objective for both Jack and Algernon's creation of their fictional associates (Ernest and Bunbury). The purpose of this lesson is to examine this motivation of ennui the way these characters employ hyperbole and sotto voice.
1. For class discussion: Jack and Algernon are sardonic observers of British well-to-do life. Their clever observations general betray an exhaustion with social morays. Have members of the class choose favorite quips that express this exhaustion (ie: "It's always nearly seven.").
2. Divide the class in two, one half taking Jack and the other taking Algernon. Have each make a list of the primary irritants for this character. After a few minutes, write these irritants on the board and discuss what unifies them.
3. For class discussion: How do Algernon and Jack express their disdain for manners? Are there any overt jokes, or generally exaggerated commentary (hyperbole)? Do the...
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