Buried Child Gender Roles

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In the play Buried Child by Sam Sheppard, the male characters of the play represent different forms of status within the monarch of the family. Just like the rankings that in a kingdom, there are different levels of power that control the household. The myth of the corn king, otherwise known as John Barleycorn was the myth of a god like figure that brought upon the new corn crops of the fields.( ). The themes of being king, sacrifice and new life that all continue in cycles are all represented by the characters in the play. All the male figures of the play represent some sort of status of hierarchy within the play. The roles of Dodge, Tilden, and Vince all reflect a male status which is seen in their personalities and their relationships …show more content…

He is the only member of the family that refrains from being malicious towards the others. Tilden expresses real compassion and acknowledges the pain that his family caused and does everything to break everybody out of their roles. In a sense he is the only character that attempts to be in touch with the real world. Until the very end of the play he is the only character to acknowledge the new rise of corn in the fields. No one even attempts to even go out in look out to verify the claim when Tilden mentions the news. This is a major reason for why Tilden could never fulfill Dodge’s status in the household. Dodge has accepted that his whole life could only ever reside in the house, while Tilden has attempted to leave before. This really shows the tragedy in Tilden’s character because not only does he feel he still serves a needed purpose at the farm, but he cannot go on with it. Although the details are vague, Tilden tells Dodge about why he came back from New Mexico and cannot ever go back. “Yeah. I was by myself more than I’ve ever been before.” P. 23 When his son Vince returns to the farm, Tilden does not acknowledge him because of the wall he has put up for himself in order to cope with this past. One of the only times he personally addresses Vince is to warn him about trying to run from the farm into New Mexico, a path he was down before. “That’s a long, lonely stretch of road. I’ve driven that stretch before and there’s no end to it. You feel like you’re going to fall right off into blackness.” 70. What separates Tilden from the other male figures is his treatment of both Hallie and Shelly. His actions show he is not physically the alpha male of the family, but rather more of a tender and caring one. Tilden’s relationships towards Shelly and Hallie all reflect the role he plays in the family. Right away he connects more with Shelly then with his

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