Essay Buried Child

1152 Words5 Pages
It’s amazing what a secret can do to a person. Keeping secrets among friends can be fun, or helpful when you need to confide in someone you trust. Other secrets can do more harm than good. They can fester inside you and cause endless pain. In "Buried Child," this is the case. The family is permanently altered by their secret, which becomes a growing moral cancer to them, leaving each impotent in their own way. The play takes place on Dodge’s farm. About thirty years ago, the farm was fertile and prosperous. Dodge and Halie didn’t have a wonderful marriage, however. Things took a turn for the worse when Halie became pregnant with someone else. It is suggested that Tilden is the father. The evidence to support this…show more content…
She tries to pull away. BRADLEY: Just stay put! She freezes. He keeps his fingers in her mouth." (p. 107) Without his leg, however, he no more than a sniveling infant. "Mom! Mom! She’s got my leg! She’s taken my leg! I never did anything to her. She’s stolen my leg!" (p. 120) He can’t even try to get it, just reach out and whine like a baby. He seems incapable of even adult reasoning. There is a major difference in the effect this impotence has on Bradley and Tilden. While Bradley denies the truth, telling Tilden he doesn’t know, he wasn’t born yet, Tilden is on an active search for the body of this child. Bradley wants the secret to remain a secret. Tilden wants it out in the open, wants the closure, even if subconsciously. That’s why he finds corn, carrots, and potatoes out in the fields, while Bradley and the others see only the rain. The land represents the soul, and is fertile for Tilden because in his way he is seeking to right this terrible wrong by revealing the child. When Tilden covers Dodge with the corn husks, but leaves his head uncovered, he is covering him with something good that the land, or in this case his maimed soul, has produced. He is trying to help Dodge to realize that the truth must be told. Bradley comes into the room and throws the husks off, shaves Dodge’s head and cuts him while he is helpless, like a punishment for the secret. Then he covers him up, head and all, with the

More about Essay Buried Child

Open Document