Sam Shepard wrote Buried Child in 1978, and it was first produced at the Magic theatre in San Francisco on 27 June the same year. It won him the Pullitzer Prize for drama in 1979. Buried Child is the second in series of family plays, which includes the first The Curse of the Starving Class (1976) and others like True West (1980), Fool for Love (1983) and A Lie of the Mind (1985). Although a work of fiction, Buried Child has a number of autobiographical elements from Shepard’s own background. Shepard’s paternal grandfather had a dairy farm in Illinois; Dodge is a Shepard family name, his father struggled all his life with alcoholism, from his several uncles, one of them died in a motel room on his wedding night, like the dead Ansel in the play,…show more content… His women are represented with their life dependant on the men around in the plays.
The study of infanticide is connected to a visual drama of a family corruption. Tilden, a burnt out has been a failure in life and banned from New Mexico due to some trouble has come home. His incestuous relationship with Halie his mother caused the child to be born and the incident was the catalyst of the crime. Dodge who knew that the child was not his destroyed it. This infanticide though committed by Dodge was a sin shared by the actions of all these three characters. It weighed upon the family as a whole leading to alienation and dissociation.
Although more than five decades have passed between O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms and Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, the theme of infanticide recurs with the same dynamism. This three act tragicomedy as mentioned is about a decomposed rural American family who has been bearing the guilty secrets of incest and infanticide. Dodge, the patriarch, in his seventies, whose life does not go beyond the physical space of a corroded living room, and who whiles away time watching television and sipping away his whiskey lying on a descript sofa. Tilden and Bradley are his sons; the first one, unable to make a decent living, returns to his parents house while the latter, an amputee, feels himself unable of leading a life without his parents being