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Buried Child is the Pulitzer Prize winning success of counter-culture playwright Sam Shephard. Centered on a Midwestern family in the United States, it is a macabre examination of the dark secret behind this family's present lives based on an act of incest. The play traces the family's deterioration following the great travesty that resulted from the violation of incest. One turns to an impotent lifestyle of self absorption, another to fanatical religious fervor, a third to insanity and imprisonment. The play ends with the apparent absolution of the curse upon them and forgiveness in the form of the return of an estranged son and his girlfriend.
Some significant quotes are:
H: What’s it like down there?
D: (to himself) Catastrophic. p8
D: My appearance is out of his domain! It’s even out of mine! In fact, it’s disappeared! I’m an invisible man! p12
D: Where’d you get that [the corn]?
T: Picked it.
D: You picked all that? You expecting company?
D: Where’d you pick it from?
T: Right out back.
D: Out back where!
T: Right out back.
D: There’s nothing out there—in back. p13
S: (Laughing, gesturing to house.) This is it? I don’t believe this is it!
V: This is it.
S: This is the house?
V: This is the house.
S: I don’t believe it!
V: How come? It’s just a house.
S: It’s like a Norman Rockwell cover or something.
V: What’s a matter with that? It’s American.
S: American? Where’s the milkman and the little dog? What’s the little dog’s name? Spot. Spot and Jane. Dick and Jane and
Spot. See Spot run.
V: Come on! Knock it off. It’s my heritage. (She laughs more hysterically, out of control.) Have some respect would ya!
S: (Trying to control herself) I’m sorry.
V: I don’t want to go in there with you acting like an idiot.
S: Yes sir p 28
S: It’s already different. Last night I was scared.
D: Scared a what?
S: Just scared.
D: Yeah, well we’ve all got an instinct for disaster. We can smell it coming.
S: It was your son. Bradley. He scared me. p 53
[Click the links at the Act headings for more quotes made available by Fulton County Schools, GA.]
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