It represents the fragmentation of the American nuclear family in a context of disappointment and disillusionment with American mythology and the American Dream, the 70s rural economic slowdown and the breakdown of traditional family structures and values. It reflects the universal frustrations of American people. The postmodern style of this play incorporates surrealism and symbolism. Surrealism is part of the play. The use of symbols such as the rain and the corn give the play a symbolist element. The humor is also an essential element. All these stylistic elements give the play a postmodern feel. Eclecticism and skepticism have also to do with postmodernism.
Dodge + Halie = Tilden and Bradley Tilden has son Vince whose girlfriend is Shelly
The character of Ansel: he is the son that Halie idolizes as an All-American hero despite his death. Tilden and Bradley: both failed their parents’ expectations. Both are expected to take over the farm or at least care for their parents in their old age. However both are handicapped: Tilden emotionally and Bradley physically. They are unable to care for their parents and thus unable to carry out the American Dream. Tilden: he has no purpose, no direction in his life. He had sex with his mother. (Vince) Bradley: aggressive, lost his leg. He Is emasculated by the removal of his leg.
Dodge: felt the failure of the farm and the family. He failed to make the farm successful. He is an alcoholic. He has been emasculated by his son and the infertility of his fields.
The Priests reflects the breakdown of morality and ethics in America. The act of incest and the murder breakdown the family values. It’s a dysfunctional family.