Angels in America Play Analysis

Angels in America ‘Angels in America’, an epic written in two parts by Tony Kushner, investigates the problem of homosexuality and the resultant AIDS, an epidemic during 1980s, which hounded the gays of America during the political administration of Reagan and Bush. The play is interwoven with numerous characters and their relations. The social issues created due to the spreading of AIDS are well presented, splitting the life of the characters. The transformation occurring to the characters during the course of time is another inevitable fact that gives a realistic picture to the play. Prior is the protagonist, a young gay with AIDS who loves Louis Ironson. Joe Pitt is another bisexual Mormon and Harper Pitt is his wife. The first part of ‘Angels in America‘ introduces the major event, the diagnosis of AIDS in Prior and the consequential effect on the relationship between Prior and Louis. Louis slowly drifts away from Prior feeling fear about the illness. In the subplot we see Roy Cohn who always diminishes homosexuals arguing that they are powerless. He squabbles that he is not a homosexual but a heterosexual man. But he is diagnosed as an AIDS patient. In another subplot, Harper recognizes that her husband Joe is gay. Thus the first part introduces the two tormented characters due the distancing of their dear ones. At this point Louis and Joe develop a new relationship because of their guilt. a feeling arises between them from the abandoning of their beloved ones and thus they console each other. The disease of Harper worsens and she begins to live in а fancy world. Here Prior is also hounded by the supernatural elements. In the second part of ‘Angels in America’, also titled ‘Perеstroika‘ we see the characters fight back to overcome the trauma of mental and physical torture. Transformation occurs here. Roy is fighting against AIDS while Harper convinces herself that her husband is homosexual. Thus many of the characters undergo an alteration which turns to be positive for them. Harper says In this world there is a kind of painful progress (Kushner Act 5). But Roy Cohn dies of AIDS without fulfilling his ambition. The protagonist Prior optimistically survives even after the death of his companions. Even though AIDS dominates his life, he stirs the mind of the listeners with the gospel he builds up from his own life experiences. The play proposes a note of hope, Everyone who was suffering in body or the spirit walked through the waters of the Bethesda would be healed, washed clean of pain.(Kushner Act3).The play scrutinizes the then society, its economy, politics and culture. The message of the play is hope. Kushner consciously makes his protagonist address the audience saying …and we are not going away. We don’t die secret deaths anymore. The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. .. You are fabulous creatures, each and everyone. And I bless you: More life. The Great Work Begins ( Epilogue 31) .Work citedKushner , Tony ,Angels in America , 1992. Play.