A Guide to Bunburying

By Olivia Durham

What is Bunburying?

Bunburying is the act of leading a double life mainly for pleasure. Bunburying is a common thing in the play Importance of Being Earnest. In order to Bunbury without getting caught, you must follow very important steps in order to not get caught.

Step One: Preparation

  • You must figure out your second identity. This means coming up with a name, back story of the person, and how your second identity will interact with certain people.
  • You also need to figure out how your second identity will act. Will they be malevolent, narcissistic, helpful, ect.
  • You need to figure out a way to help separate your lives. You may need to get 2 separate ways of communication (2 phones, emails, ect).

Step 2: Making it Happen

After you create your second identity, it is time to make this second life happen!


  • Start associating with people who don't know your first identity.
  • Lead people to believe that this identity is the only one you have.
  • Make sure you have gotten rid of any evidence of your real identity while you're around people who only know your second identity.
  • Begin getting more involved into activities you want to be apart of as this new character.

Possible Problems of Being a Bunburyist

There are multiple problems you could come across while you are leading your second life. The obvious and biggest problem is getting caught. If you tie your two lives together in any way, it could lead to someone finding out about this plan. Another problem you could come across is if you let people in on your whole plan. One person knowing could lead to multiple people knowing.

Step 3: Avoid Getting Caught

  • Don't let anyone know about this second life. Not even your best friend, because who knows if they'll keep it your little secret!
  • Don't intertwine your lives together in any way. If you do, people might catch on and start questioning who you really are.
  • If you are being the real you, don't talk to other people who you associate with as your second identity. Especially around other people.
  • If you just came from one of your other lives, be sure you don't act as that identity or people will notice a difference.

Life as a Bunburyist

Now that you've gotten this difficult task of actually becoming a Bunburyist, you can live your two (or more) lives! Just don't turn out like Jack and Algy!