Buried Child Historical Context

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In many ways, Buried Child exists outside of time and apart from history. The plot of the play is the ages-old, familiar story of youth overthrowing age, intertwined with murder and incest, death and resurrection—terrible human impulses that have shocked and fascinated audiences for thousands of years. The play's characters are mainly archetypal figures, recognizable from centuries of stories and myths scattered across cultures and around the globe. Still, Shepard's family drama is anchored in a particular place and a particular age—1970s America—and this environment, if not directly obvious in the play, certainly influenced the playwright and his work.

Although practically any era can be called an age of turbulent politics for one reason or another, the 1970s were particularly difficult and painful for the United States. The decade saw the end of the painful Vietnam War, which altered a great many Americans' perception of...

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This section contains 937 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Buried Child Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Buried Child from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.