If Wilde’s play takes aim at the society that persuades itself that it is virtuous and right-thinking while in reality being cold, harsh, and self-serving, it also celebrates the human ingenuity that allows people to make of themselves what they will and to enter imaginatively into another frame of reference or reality, a world in which wit and artifice are paramount. These, after all, are the qualities of which an audience is most aware, having been alternately amused, provoked, and delighted, when it leaves the theater at the end of the evening.
As I mentioned, when I am tired or hungry, my daughter has pointed out that I have sometimes been a little too curt when giving her direction or asking her to help out. We are working on that. And that is my point: families should work on this problem together . Children should be given the correct information about what is and is not manners, not just examples of what and what not to do. They need to know the reason behind it and the mechanics of it. And adults need to honor that “manners” is not just something we enforce with our kids or use with strangers but also use with everyone at all times. If we did, we would not only have happier families but we would have a happier world!
Of all the Causes which conspire to blind
Man's erring Judgment, and misguide the Mind,
What the weak Head with strongest Byass rules,
Is Pride, the never-failing Vice of Fools.
Whatever Nature has in Worth deny'd,
She gives in large Recruits of needful Pride;
For as in Bodies, thus in Souls, we find
What wants in Blood and Spirits, swell'd with Wind;
Pride, where Wit fails, steps in to our Defence,
And fills up all the mighty Void of Sense!
If once right Reason drives that Cloud away,
Truth breaks upon us with resistless Day;
Trust not your self; but your Defects to know,
Make use of ev'ry Friend--and ev'ry Foe.