Buried Child

The Baby / Buried Child Character Analysis

Sometime before Ansel’s death, but before Vince’s birth, Halie and Tilden had a child together. Dodge murdered this baby and buried it somewhere unknown, and the family has kept the secret for decades. When Dodge finally admits to the murder at the end of the play, Tilden unearths the corpse of the child from the backyard and brings it into the house.

The Baby / Buried Child Quotes in Buried Child

The Buried Child quotes below are all either spoken by The Baby / Buried Child or refer to The Baby / Buried Child. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Family and Its Demise Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Buried Child published in 2006.
Act 2 Quotes

We had a baby. He did. Dodge did. Could pick it up with one hand. Put it in the other. Little baby. Dodge killed it… Dodge drowned it… Never told Halie. Never told anybody. Just drowned it… Nobody could find it. Just disappeared. Cops looked for it. Neighbors. Nobody could find it… Finally everybody just gave up. Just stopped looking. Everybody had a different answer. Kidnap. Murder. Accident. Some kind of accident.

Related Characters: Tilden (speaker), Dodge, Halie, Shelly, The Baby / Buried Child
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Act 3 Quotes

…Halie had this kid. This baby boy. She had it. I let her have it on her own. All the other boys I had had the best doctors, best nurses, everything. This one I let her have by herself. This one hurt real bad. Almost killed her, but she had it anyway. It lived, see. It lived. It wanted to grow up in this family. It wanted to be just like us. It wanted to be part of us. It wanted to pretend that I was its father. She wanted me to believe in it. Even when everyone around us knew. Everyone. All our boys knew. Tilden knew… I killed it. I drowned it. Just like the runt of a litter. Just drowned it.

Related Characters: Dodge (speaker), Halie, Tilden, Shelly, The Baby / Buried Child
Page Number: 109-110
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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The Baby / Buried Child Character Timeline in Buried Child

The timeline below shows where the character The Baby / Buried Child appears in Buried Child. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2
Family and Its Demise Theme Icon
Failure and the American Dream Theme Icon
The Presence of the Past Theme Icon
Rituals Theme Icon
...any longer. When Shelly presses him for more information, Tilden reveals that there was a baby in the family, but Dodge drowned it, and no one knows where he put it. (full context)
Family and Its Demise Theme Icon
Failure and the American Dream Theme Icon
The Presence of the Past Theme Icon
Rituals Theme Icon
...to tell Shelly that not even Halie or Bradley know where the corpse of the baby is buried. Meanwhile Shelly moves to help Dodge, but Tilden forcibly keeps her seated. Tilden... (full context)
Act 3
Family and Its Demise Theme Icon
Failure and the American Dream Theme Icon
The Presence of the Past Theme Icon
...whole family standing on a farm full of corn and wheat, with Halie holding a baby. Shelly says that Halie looks lost in the photo. (full context)
Family and Its Demise Theme Icon
The Presence of the Past Theme Icon
...Shelly asks Dodge outright if Tilden was telling the truth about the killing of the baby. Suddenly Dodge’s demeanor changes, and Dodge asks Shelly where Tilden is. She tells Dodge that... (full context)
Family and Its Demise Theme Icon
Failure and the American Dream Theme Icon
The Presence of the Past Theme Icon
Rituals Theme Icon
Despite protestations from Halie and Bradley, Dodge recounts how Halie had a baby, and apparently the child was Tilden’s. Tilden was close with the baby, but Dodge was... (full context)
Family and Its Demise Theme Icon
Failure and the American Dream Theme Icon
The Presence of the Past Theme Icon
Rituals Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
...is full of vegetables. Tilden enters, covered in mud, holding the rotted corpse of a small child . He ascends the stairs towards Halie as we hear her considering aloud the rain... (full context)