Buried Child Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 42 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Buried Child.
This section contains 892 words
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American Dream

In literature, as in life, the American Dream contains elements of adventure on the open road, the exploration of far frontiers, and family and financial success. These ideas permeate nearly all of Shepard's plays and are used effectively as a criticism of contemporary American society in Buried Child. In this dark vision of the American Midwest, Shepard presents the disintegration of the American family and suggests that, as a culture, Americans have an embarrassment of riches and a paucity of spirituality and morality. For most of the play, his view of America in the late-twentieth century is one of selfish, brutal, and hypocritical tyrant wannabees who care little for one another and are mainly interested in physical pleasures and power over others.

Dodge, the father and grandfather of the household, talks about things that American patriarchs are supposed to talk about—family, the farm, even baseball. But...

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This section contains 892 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.
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