Author: Oscar Wilde
Publisher: Dar al Bihar (2006)
Pages: 189 Binding: Paperback
Description from the publisher:
Bilingual English-Arabic version of the Oscar Wilde classic “The Importance of Being Ernest” .
Dual language books. The English and Arabic pages are facing each other, matching one-on-one with English on the left page, Arabic on the right page. Easy reference for individuals not strong in one of the languages. Well known fiction titles for different interests and levels.
Description of Book:
Algernon, an aristocratic young Londoner, pretends to have a friend named Bunbury in the country who is frequently in ill health. Whenever Algernon wants to avoid an unwelcome social obligation, he "visits Bunbury" instead.Algernon's real-life best friend lives in the country but makes frequent visits to London. Algernon knows him as Ernest Worthing. But Ernest left his silver cigarette case in Algernon's flat, and Algernon found an inscription in it: "From little Cecily, with her fondest love to her dear Uncle Jack."
"Ernest" is thus forced to disclose that he too is leading a double life. In the country, he goes by the name of John (or "Jack"), and pretends that he has a wastrel brother named Ernest living in London and requiring his frequent attention. In the country Jack assumes a serious attitude for the benefit of his young ward, Cecily, an 18-year old heiress and the granddaughter of Jack's late adoptive father. When in the city, he assumes the name and behaviour of the libertine Ernest.
Jack wants to marry Algernon's cousin Gwendolen, but faces two obstacles. Firstly, Gwendolen seems to love him largely for his professed name of Ernest. Secondly, Gwendolen's terrifying mother, Lady Bracknell, disapproves of Mr. Worthing and insists on thoroughly questioning him. His financial position, his politics, and his three addresses are broadly acceptable, but she is horrified to learn that he was adopted as a baby after being discovered in a handbag at a railway station. It is unthinkable for her daughter to "marry into a cloakroom and form an alliance with a parcel."
Meanwhile, Jack's description of his pretty young heiress ward Cecily has so appealed to Algernon that he resolves to meet her in spite of Jack's objections. Algernon goes to Jack's country house, where he announces himself as "Ernest". Cecily has for some time imagined herself in love with her Uncle Jack's "wicked" younger brother Ernest (even fantasizing that they are engaged), and she is soon swept off her feet by Algernon. Jack, meanwhile, has decided to put his life as Ernest behind him. He arrives at his country house with the news that his brother Ernest has died in Paris of a "severe chill", but is forced to abandon this claim by the presence of Algernon in the role of "Ernest."
Like Gwendolen, Cecily loves her "Ernest" at least in part for his name, and thus Algernon and Jack both ask the local rector, the Reverend Dr. Chasuble, to christen them.
Gwendolen, meanwhile, has fled London and her mother to be with her love. When she and Cecily meet for the first time, each indignantly insists that she is the one engaged to "Ernest" - until Jack and Algernon appear and their deceptions are exposed.
Lady Bracknell now arrives in pursuit of her daughter. She meets Cecily, and initially doubts her suitability as a wife for her nephew Algernon - until the size of Cecily's trust fund is revealed. Stalemate transpires when Jack denies his consent to the marriage of his ward Cecily to Algernon until Lady Bracknell consents to his marriage to Gwendolen.
The impasse is broken by the appearance of Cecily's governess, Miss Prism. Lady Bracknell recognizes Miss Prism, who twenty-eight years earlier was a family nursemaid. One day she left Lord Bracknell's house with a baby boy in a perambulator and never returned.
With Jack's provenance established, only one thing now stands in the way of the young couples' happiness. In view of Gwendolen's continued insistence that she can only love a man named Ernest, what is Jack's real name? Lady Bracknell informs him that, as the firstborn son, he must have been named after his father, General Moncrieff, but cannot remember the general's first name. Jack looks in the Army Lists and discovers that his father's name -- and hence his -- was in fact Ernest after all. As the happy couples embrace, including also Miss Prism and her clerical admirer, Dr. Chasuble, Lady Bracknell complains to her new-found relative: "My nephew, you seem to be displaying signs of triviality."
"On the contrary, Aunt Augusta," he replies, "I've now realized for the first time in my life the vital Importance of Being Earnest."
These special, condensed novels are intended for English speakers to learn Arabic, by reading side by side versions of these simplified famous novels.