Themes in "Buried Child" by Sam Shepard Book Review

Themes in "Buried Child" by Sam Shepard
An analysis of the themes and aspects of American culture in the play, "Buried Child," by Sam Shepard.
# 153696 | 1,613 words | 3 sources | APA | 2012 | KE
Published on Oct 10, 2013 in Drama and Theater (American) , Literature (American)

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The paper provides a summary of the play "Buried Child" and discusses how the play offers several insights into the American culture and family of the late 1970s. The paper addresses the themes in the play that include the pursuit of the American dream, the corruption of an immoral society and the tyranny and hypocrisy common in society of the time. The paper concludes that we see how one behaves in a similar manner to his fathers, and so it is better to leave one's extended family and, guided by infallible principles, lead a life of one's own making.

A Summary
The American Family in the Late 1970s
Themes in the Play "Buried Child"

From the Paper:

"The play starts with Dodge in a surly mood, coughing while seated on the sofa. He smokes a cigarette while also drinking from a bottle of whisky. His wife, Halie, while in another room, tries to engage him in conversation, alluding to the fact that the rain is the thing that is making him cough. She asks him if he wants some pills but he ignores her. She comments about the rain, telling him he should have a look at it from her vantage point, where it is "coming down in sheets". He does not want to get involved in the conversation. Dodge is cynical when Halie tells him about a man she met long before they got married.
"Dodge is told that nobody will force him to take his pills, and "there is no honour in self destruction, no honour at all". Tilden comes into the room with an armload of corn whereupon Dodge asks him where he got them from. He answers, "Right out back." Dodge retorts, saying there has not been corn from the back for thirty years and that he should return the corn where he found them. As Tilden goes to the kitchen to get his "chair" (a milking stool according to Dodge) Dodge takes a quick swig from his whiskey bottle and quickly stashes it back into the sofa."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bookrags Themes. (2010). Retrieved December 13, 2011, from Bookrags Web site:
  • (1995). In Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster's encyclopedia of literature (p. 187). Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
  • Moore, J. (2008, November). Buried Child Study Guide. Retrieved December 13, 2011, from National Arts Centre Web site:

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Themes in "Buried Child" by Sam Shepard (2013, October 10) Retrieved March 28, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Themes in "Buried Child" by Sam Shepard" 10 October 2013. Web. 28 March. 2020. <>