The importance of being handbag and earnest

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Mia, a fifteen-year-old girl, wanders around an English apartment building, enraged and frustrated. During Odyssean's opening sequence, she is seen dancing alone, barking into her mobile phone, and sometimes tossing rocks at a window (Mcalmont 2010). She headbutts a child at times and sometimes closes the door in front of her mother. The series seems to be a little too long, but it successfully transports the viewer into Mia's life and, most importantly, her point of view. Mia has been just acting her dreams of becoming a dancer in the flat that appears abandoned and symbolizes a secluded space for Mia. Space affords her rare moments of solitude and an opportunity to create hypnotically ritualized escapes into the world of hip hop. Space also offers blue skies than the reality outside temporarily. From now on the camera does not only follow Mia around, it encircles, attends and becomes her. It expresses and registers her moods that are always fluctuating (Mcalmont 2010).

Whether she is dancing or slumping in the back seat, the camera matches her line of vision and brings her out to a subject full of internal and external constraints. Mia is struggling with emptiness as she feels all alone and in her world full of sadness. However, Connor who is the latest boyfriend to her mother appears to be bringing some hope and joy to her world. Connor is the first person to talk to Mia as if she were an adult. He honors her with civil conversation, sincere compliments, and genuine interest. Through this, she comes to see herself the way Connor perceives her. It is apparent that her sad life that is full of frustrations is gradually transforming and she is slowly overcoming the constraints in her life as a teenager after meeting Connor (Mcalmont 2010).


The entrance of Connor in the plot is a shining light to other characters in the movie in the manner in which he appears to be sexy, funny, assertive and most outstandingly calm as everyone else is gritted with hatred and bitterness. Having him around brings hope to everyone as he encourages Mia to dance and goes ahead to start a relationship with Mia more erotic than paternal (Mcalmont 2010). He conspicuously express and brings the taste of the middle-class with him and this is evident when Mia goes through his wallet and is surprised by the pay slips that she comes across. However, what is interesting is the dilemma that Connor puts himself in. Connor is a quasi-father to Mia, and the fatherhood relationship is slowly drifting to more sexual than paternal. Two scenes that explain this claim is when she lifted her from her mother bed when she pretended to be asleep hence compelling Connor to carry her to her bed. Later she is given a piggyback because she has cut her foot (Mcalmont 2010). Both scenes open a romantic, sensual extracts conquered with Mia's heavy breath which takes another form as they later become intimate in the movie.

The sexual conduct between Mia and Connor is confusing to both of them and acts as a constraint to Connor specifically due to the reason that he is supposed to serve as a father as well as the husband to the mother of the daughter that she is having an affair with. The act also inflicts confusion to a teenager who is confused on whether to have a lover or a father. The action of Connor towards an adult forces her to grow up too fast especially in the state of poverty that her family is entangled in the Fish Tank Film (Mcalmont 2010). Connor appears to be a promising father initially in the manner in which he carries out himself. When he is not partying with Joanne, she goes ahead and takes the family out and goes on to encourage Mia to answer an advert for a dance. However, later in the movie, he is attracted to the beauty of a girl that she is supposed to call her daughter. He convinces the teenager through telling her a revelation about his past that he left behind that inspires the girl to commit a terrible act. It is evident that the constraint of being in an affair with her daughter highlights his guilt and betrayal towards his girlfriend and the whole family as well. His selfish flirtation with Mia is an act of lie and can be more destructive to the side of household members (Mcalmont 2010).

Part B (Q. 26, 772 words)

Class and Identity According to Oscar Wilde

According to Wilde, the culture in which he lived was apprehensive with prosperity, family status, and ethical personality when it comes to matrimony. Questioning of Jack's suggestion to espouse Gwendolen by Lady Bracknell confirms class as a huge determinant of character (Mcalmont 2010). Jack is being asked about his savings and then his family associations which are a ration of his level. Due to the reason that Jack is no relationships or family name sounds negatively and poorly on his personality. After realizing that Jack has no relatives, she bellows, "To lose one blood relation may be taken as bad luck but losing both is carelessness" (Wilde 2011). The statement insinuates that it was the fault of Jack to lose both parents which are not true. In the Victorian society individuals identity was the capacity of one's social wealth hence the fact that Jack has no family is a hindrance to his wedding Gwendolen who is a daughter of a titled gentry (Mcalmont 2010).

According to the bridal values put in place by Lady Bracknell, Jack has the finances, but he does not have the identity that elevates him to the required class. Therefore, his personality comes into interrogation. Nevertheless, Lady Bracknell's inquiry of Jack socioeconomic standing reflects the Victorian biosphere in which she was molded. Her assessment of character, class, and cash is what Wilde questions through the entire piece of literature particularly in the affiliations between classes (Wilde 2011).

In the first Act, Algernon points out that subordinate class have to set a decent example of ethical accountability to the upper class; or else, they are useless. The declaration is precisely unusual since he is more focused with the decency of his servants rather than his own decency. He carries on to live a misleading lifestyle without stopping to query moral repercussions of such a life. Fixation of Algernon in the moral life of his assistants demonstrates the shortsightedness perception of the noble class (Wilde 2011). The course scrutinizes the conduct and identity of others so much that it fails to examine its setbacks and shortcomings. By highlighting the lack of self-examination of Algernon, Wilde undermines the criteria of Victorian for identity by pointing out that it is inherently faulty. One's identity in the society is determined his financial status which also makes the reverse true hence an indication that class determines identity (Wilde 2011).

Class and Identity according to Ravenhill

The play by Ravenhill Handbag is subtitled The Importance of Being Someone and alludes to that one of Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest. It is a common perception of Ravenhill regarding contemporary relationships that vividly brings out the subjects of identity and class (Dunne 2005). The story is set in a present-day Britain and focuses on the story between two lesbian spouses who conceive a male baby with a male couple. One mother promises that there will be a real glut of parents for the baby bur even before the child is born, it is apparent that it was going to make it on his own, just like emotionally stunted parents have. It is because family is destabilized by infidelity with some scenes traveling back to Victorian to eavesdrop on another household that is ill-prepared to raise a child (Dunne 2005).

The characters seem to be self-righteous but eerily cold. Everyone is busy searching some meaning in life and this reflects on the play Handbag. The play examines identity and class through exploring the need of caring, commitment and nurturing through junkie prostitutes. A woman gives birth to a baby boy, and it is accidental when a nanny puts him in a handbag. Mark examines the role of parenting in the era of biological engineering, diverse sexualities and most importantly the handbag. Mark play traverses from Victorian era to the contemporary society in search for the true meaning of identity by bringing about marginalized character such as gays and lesbians in the play (Dunne 2005).

The play is only trying to encourage the contemporary society that it is essential to have a sense of importance no matter who you are or identity that you have in the society. It is because character plays a very crucial role in determining our status in the community. This is apparent in the economic, social, and industrial advances that have led people to believe that class is not as strong as it once used to be. The demise of the class structure is elevated by the capitalists who wanted to protect their profits. The Handbag is a depiction of a class of minority individuals in the society that belongs to a given class that are yearning to identify with the norms of ordinary life irrespective of their status (Dunne 2005).


Dunne, S. (2005, May 30). Handbag, Focus Theatre - Review - Arts - Entertainment - Retrieved from

McCalmont, J. (2010, January 9). Fish Tank (2009) – The Ambiguities of Age | Ruthless Culture. Retrieved from

Wilde, O. (2011). The Importance of Being Earnest. Retrieved from


July 24, 2021

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