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Writing an obituary for the character of Jack Worthing / Ernest Moncrieff

Updated on February 16, 2015

The Importance of Being Earnest


The Amazing Life of Ernest Moncrieff and Jack Worthing

Services for Ernest Moncrieff also known as Jack Worthing, J.P., 67, of Hertfordshire will be Thursday March 21, 1937, at 2 p.m. at the Chapel with Father Michael officiating. Interment will follow at The Garden at the Manor House in Woolton. The family will receive friends on Thursday, March 21, 1937, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the chapel. Ernest passed away Friday March 15, 1937 at his home in Hertfordshire after a sudden and short battle with tuberculosis. He was born January 5, 1862 in London on Upper Grosvenor Street. He leaves behind his soul mate and loving wife Gwedolen Fairfax Moncrieff. He is survived by his four children Jack Jr. and Abby of London, Thomas and Mary of Paris, Al and Sara of Woolton, and Gwen of Hertfordshire. He also leaves behind his charge that he raised like a daughter Cecily Cardew Moncrieff. He is preceded in death by his parent’s Mr. and Mrs. Ernest John Moncrieff, Caregivers Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Cardew and his brother and best friend Algernon Moncrieff.

Jack Worthing was actually born Ernest Moncrieff. He lived a very extravagant and shockingly incredible life. “As a baby, Jack Worthing was entrusted into the care of the incompetent governess Miss Prism, who absentmindedly places him in an old handbag and loses him at the Victoria Station.” (Nassar) For Jack this day changed his whole life and completely altered the course of events that inevitably made him the man everyone knew and loved. To hear Ernest Moncrieff tell it “The late Mr. Thomas Cardew, an old gentleman of a very charitable and kindly disposition, found me, and gave me the name of Worthing, because he happened to have a first-class ticket for Worthing in his pocket at the time. Worthing 
is a place in Sussex. It is a seaside resort.” (Wilde) While Ernest was unlucky to have been lost as a baby he was undoubtedly lucky to have been found by Mr. Cardew. Ernest who became known as Jack led a wonderful and blessed life. But there was always something missing for him that he was forever searching to fill the void it left behind.

One way that Mr. Worthing found to fill this void was by spending his whole youth up until the age of 28 living two lives. In the country he was known as Jack Worthing the older and wiser brother of Ernest Worthing. Ernest Worthing was his assumed identity that he pretended to be in when he was in London. He called this double life his bunburying. He carried on these two identities so that he could fulfill and attempt to fill parts that were missing from his life. Mr. Worthing had decided that he would put an end to his double life in the pursuit of his love fore Miss Gwedolen Fairfax. Mr. Worthing first met Miss Fairfax thru his friend Mr. Algernon Moncrieff who is also the cousin of Miss Fairfax. Through a very interesting turn of events in Mr. Worthing's life he finds out that Mr. Moncrieff is not only his best friend but also his brother. Both men spent their youth in search of something that was missing from both their lives. Mr. Worthing had a dramatic change in his life after that shocking afternoon in his garden at the Manor House. His bunburying was exposed for the fraud that it was and his life was forever changed. Jack found out that he was truly Ernest Moncrieff and from that day on lived a life of earnestness. He was a devoted family man. He truly enjoyed spending time with his family and friends every chance he got. Ernest was known for his kindness and generosity towards his fellow man. He was a big supporter and contributor to the Church that he loved so much. Ernest was a savvy businessman and thanks to his inheritance of old money he lived comfortably all the days of his life. Ernest spent as much time as he could traveling and exploring the world with his wife and kids. They were the World to him and he gave them the World. Ernest transformed many lives during his lifetime and will be greatly missed.

Ernest spent his time looking to be for something to transform his life “As is the way of such transformations of meaning generally, the category confusion in the term ‘‘Ernest’’ has produced a transformation of attitude and concomitant practices that reconstitutes this confusion itself into a simple separateness and simultaneity of meanings. That is, the problem of incompatible meanings has itself become the answer, the true clarity of single, exclusive meanings it was originally thought to be.” (Barris) As Jack once said “I’ve now realized for the first time in my life the vital Importance of Being Earnest.” (Wilde) Ernest will be remembered for his quick wit, amazing debating skills, sharp style, and big big heart. Mr. Ernest Worthing was an amazing man and we will forever carry his memory in our hearts and honor the amazing life that he lived.

Works Cited

Wilde, Oscar. “The Importance of Being Earnest” 340-383. ENGL

200: Composition and Literature. America Public University

System. New York: McGraw- Hill, 2011.

Barris, Jeremy. "The Formal Structure Of Metaphysics And The Importance Of Being Earnest." Metaphilosophy 39.4/5 (2008): 546-570. Academic Search Premier. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.

Nassaar, Christopher. "Wilde's THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST." Explicator 60.2 (2002): 78. Academic Search Premier. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.

Oscar Wilde



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