At a glance:
- Author: Sam Shepard
- First Published: 1979
- Type of Work: Play
- Type of Plot: Psychological realism
- Time of Work: The 1970’s
- Setting: A small Midwestern farm
- Genres: Realism, Drama, Psychological drama, Mythological literature
- Subjects: 1970's, Family or family life, Sex or sexuality, Midwest, Yards or backyards, Incest, Farms, farmers, or farming, Death or dying, Amputation, amputees, or prosthetics, Old age or elderly people, Fertility
- Locales: United States, Midwest (U.S.), North America
Dodge, who is in his seventies, very thin, and sickly looking, with a chronic cough. He spends most of the play lying on the couch and later on the floor. He gradually weakens throughout the play and dies at the play’s end, after willing the house and property to his grandson Vince. Dodge apparently drowned an illegitimate child of his wife, Halie, and then buried the child, possibly conceived through incest, in the backyard, providing the play’s title and the source of the family curse. The curse may or may not be expiated by his death...
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