Oscar Wilde quote about truth from The Importance of Being Earnest - The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
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The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
 Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). copy citation

Author Oscar Wilde
Source The Importance of Being Earnest
Topic truth dirtiness complexity
Date 1895
Language English
Reference The Importance of Being Earnest, Act I
Note Algernon line
Weblink http://www.gutenberg.org/files/844/844-h/844-h.htm


“And as a high moral tone can hardly be said to conduce very much to either one's health or one's happiness, in order to get up to town I have always pretended to have a younger brother of the name of Ernest, who lives in the Albany, and gets into the most dreadful scrapes. That, my dear Algy, is the whole truth pure and simple.
Algernon. The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Modern life would be very tedious if it were either, and modern literature a complete impossibility!
jack. That wouldn't be at all a bad thing.
Algernon. Literary criticism is not your forte, my dear fellow.” source

Meaning and analysis

Kwize Master Jack has just confessed to his best friend Algernon that he is leading a double life by posing as a very serious man with his ward Cecily. He explains that his position as a tutor forces him to adopt a very virtuous attitude and that only this deception allows him to lead his life as he wishes, adding that all this is the pure and simple truth. Algernon reacts on this point by stating that the truth is never pure or simple, and adds that it is a good thing, otherwise life would be very boring and modern literature quite impossible.
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