Reflection of "Bunburyists" In Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest

Essay by MccaddenSucksA+, April 2004

download word file, 1 pages 3.6 2 reviews

Downloaded 80 times

By: Lee A. Zito

Bunburyism in The Importance of Being Earnest is introduced to the reader when Algynon, who we later find out is Earnest's brother, discovers that Earnest is pretending to have a brother in the county. It is a practice both take use of to make excuses for their absences. Earnest is actually Jack's secret identity he uses while he is in town, and Algy has created Bunbury, and imaginary friend who is always conveniently sick whenever Algy feels the need to stand his Aunt up.

Algy somewhat makes it through the play with his imaginary friend Bunbury by creating lies that seem rather credible to his Aunt. Even though she sometimes catches him off his guard with her satirical comments of Bunbury's life or death. Jack himself is not as good as a Bunburyist as Algy ends up visiting his house in the country pretending to be Jack's town Bunbury, Earnest.

Jack returns the favor to Algy, telling his debtors that he is Earnest and he is the one who must pay Jack's debt. Algy tries to convince Earnest's debtors that he is not Earnest, but can not, so Jack ends up paying Earnest's debt which is actually his own, if Algy agrees to return to town.

The art of Bunburyism is no easy task and through out the play the characters struggle to keep track of their secret identities.