Buried Child

Character summaries

Dodge:

  • Aging dysfunctional patriarch of the family; in his 70s
  • Is an alcoholic romoo
  • Is dying
  • Has been emasculated by his son and the infertility of his fields
  • Is ashamed of Halie's conceiving the child and is ashamed of killing it
  • Sits and watches television and drinks

Tilden:

  • Lost son, he has no purpose, no direction in his life
  • Had sex with his mother
  • Is confused/ashamed/embarrassed about the child and its death
  • Is bullied by the other characters
  • Brings crops into the house from the field in the backyard

Bradley:

  • Aggressive brother
  • Lost his leg in a chainsaw accident
  • Is emasculated by the removal of his leg

Halie:

  • The wife and mother in the family; in her mid-60s.
  • Nags Dodge
  • Had sex with her son and gives birth to her grandson/son
  • Abandons the family to socialise with Dewis and revel in the past
  • Hero-worships the images of her lost son

Vince:

  • Tilden's son
  • Reclaims possession of the house
  • No one recognizes him when he arrives

Shelly

  • Vince's girlfriend
  • Reluctant to be at Vince's grandparents' house
  • Determined to uncover the family secret
  • Utterly shaken at what she finds
  • Skeptical of family relations

Father Dewis

  • Priest
  • Enjoys drinking and socializing with women
  • Carrying on a not-so secret affair with Halie

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