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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shelly is Vince’s girlfriend. She and Vince are travelling from New Jersey and heading to Mexico to visit Vince’s father, Tilden. They make a stop-over at Dodge’s home and Shelly is disturbed by the condition of the house and its residents after which she suggests that she and Vince spend the night in a hotel. Shelly’s character in the play is significant because it is through her that Tilden reveals the family secret that nobody dared address and that changed the family’s life forever. Tilden’s revelations scare Shelly and trigger Shelly to confront everyone the next day about their shameful act. Her confrontation sparked a confession from Dodge who admitted to having killed the baby and burying it in the backyard because it was a product of incest, something Dodge would not condone. Shelly then leaves after Dodge dies because she could not handle the events that had just unfolded.

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Buried Child

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