Analysis of the Sam Shepard's Play Buried Child

Topics: Family, American Dream, The Play Pages: 3 (1185 words) Published: January 8, 2013
American Nightmare
In my paper I am going to analyze one of the Sam Shepards play. Its name sounds depressive but it completely fulfils the main idea of the play – Buried Child. From the information I read about the author I deduced that he wrote it on the basis of his own personal experience in his childhood. Sam Shepard grew up on the farm in California and was a member of a broken family because his father was an alcoholic. The play was firstly produced in the year 1978. From this and from the story itself implies my presumption that the whole story is set in the 1970’s when the USA was in a hard economic situation caused by the war in Vietnam. To be more concrete it is set in Illinois on the farm where nothing grow anymore. I think that only through the description of the characters you would be able to see the main points of why I titled my work American Nightmare. Dodge is supposed to be the head of the family but he is broken by things that happened in the past. He is an old dying man and he is paranoiac but he has a reason to be. He is considered poor man whom doesn’t like even his family. He failed in building his American Dream because his family is no more working and the farm he built up many years ago is left without any interest. He left everything after the biggest secret of the family happened. He killed his wife’s son but not without reason, as his son Tilden in the play says, “He said he had his reasons . . . He’s the only one who knows where it’s buried.” (Shepard 104) The reasons I found out in the text were that she, Halie, had the baby with another man. There are some hints which led me to think that the man might have been Tilden, her own son. Then it would have been much worse because the act of incest is totally against the modern society. We don’t know the background, how everything happened, if Halie was raped by her son or he was seduced by his mother. Nevertheless killing the baby was no solution because the family fell apart...
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