An Analysis of Buried Child

Topics: Law of Attraction, Secret, Truth Pages: 3 (1191 words) Published: October 8, 1999
It’s amazing what a secret can do to a person. Keeping secrets among friends can be fun, or helpful when you need to confide in someone you trust. Other secrets can do more harm than good. They can fester inside you and cause endless pain. In “Buried Child,” this is the case. The family is permanently altered by their secret, which becomes a growing moral cancer to them, leaving each impotent in their own way. The play takes place on Dodge’s farm. About thirty years ago, the farm was fertile and prosperous. Dodge and Halie didn’t have a wonderful marriage, however. Things took a turn for the worse when Halie became pregnant with someone else. It is suggested that Tilden is the father. The evidence to support this includes the fact that the baby was small, and that Tilden would sing to it and take it for long walks all day, just talking to it and treating it as his own. “Tilden was the one who knew. Better than any of us. He’d walk for miles with that kid in his arms. Halie let him take it. All night sometimes.” (p. 124) Dodge would not allow this abomination to grow up and live in his family, so he drowned it, and buried it in the backyard. We can guess that this is when the farm ceased to be fertile, and fell into disuse. This is a symbol of the death of honesty and the birth of the family’s terrible secret. Why exactly does everything go wrong for this family? We don’t know exactly when the problems started, but we know that Ansel died on his honeymoon, Bradley cut off his own leg in a chain saw accident and is now mentally imbalanced, Tilden is nonfunctional and has been driven out of New Mexico, Dodge is a crazy old sick guy, and Halie is doing shady things with the preacher. Vince is the only person capable of facing the world and life, but he too is corrupted by the secret at the end. The answer to the question is that their secret, the dead child, is a secret festering them from the...
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