. Jack’s lack of family relations makes it difficult for him to marry Gwendolen
and settle into a traditional family arrangement. While Cecily’s ancestry is officially documented in books, she becomes an orphan, or ward when her grandfather dies. Her parents aren’t even mentioned. Cecily’s parental figures, Jack and Miss Prism
, at best, are only mildly attentive to her needs. Jack and Cecily’s status as orphans highlight the place of love and imagination in the creation of family bonds. Both Jack and Cecily invent fictional relationships in order to forge real connections with the other characters. Jack creates a brother “Ernest
” so that he can more easily court Gwendolen in town, while Cecily imagines a romance with “Ernest,” which ends up developing into a real engagement with Algernon
. While characters like Lady Bracknell
place heavy emphasis on the importance of family ties in society, Jack and Cecily don't have such social connections, instead relying on love and imagination to form relationships with others.