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Tony Kushner's Angels in America - Essay Example

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The Play by Tony Kushner " Angels in America" was a visible success as soon as it came out in the early nineties and mirrors the recent perceptions about the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).The play had two parts originally (Part 1 being Millennium Approaches, and part 2, being Perestroika) both of which faced success at the Broadway in the form of long runs and the much honored Pulitzer prize…
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Tony Kushners Angels in America
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Download file to see previous pages play who has been infected by AIDS
and this thinking is reflected when he "feels dirty" as if his heart is "pumping polluted blood." as he is seen to be hallucinating in his struggle with the "angels" as to the reason Earth has been cursed by Aids.(Kushner,P.34) and his deteriorating condition finds him being drawn to "cosmologieswith no judgment, no guilt, or responsibility" (p,42).The play has heavy undertones of Angelic symbolism originating from the traditional religious systems which is so characteristic of the sociological magnum opuses of the likes of Emile Durkheim and Peter Berger.
The play demonstrates the rise and re-rise of Angel Imagery in the America of the nineties. In "Angels in America, Roy Cohn ,another character of the play who says the classic dialogue just after being told by his doctor that he too has AIDS (Cadden, 1995). when he states ,'Homosexuals are not men who sleep with other men,' Cohn says. 'Homosexuals are men who in fifteen years of trying cannot get a pissant antidiscrimination bill through City Council. Homosexuals are men who know nobody and who nobody knows. Who have zero clout. Does this sound like me'" (Kushner: 2003:45).
This dialogue shows the how the irrational hatred, disapproval, or fear of homosexuality, gay and lesbian people, or their culture manifests itself in an internalized way especially with in the ideals of people like Cohn as he blasts the minority for their lack of power and marginalization in the society and ends of hating them as a whole.
Yet another of Kushner' endlessly provocative and rich thematic concerns manifest themselves in one of the main relationships in the play between Joe Pitt and his wife, Harper. As a young Republican Mormon he is a close friend of Roy Cohn, who is also Joe's surrogate father. And their conversations about the changing American culture reflect the events post 9/11 showing the heaving political over tones of this drama.
All in all Kushner's highest achievement in this play is his success in dramatizing the difference of opinion within America's so called "melting pot culture" and ability to juggle comedy and tragedy up till the point when Cohn dies in agony; and Joe and Harper are left alone showing some home for their future.
The Play has not however always received a positive response, and had to go through varying amounts of political and literary attack and people has objected the play's portrayal of Gay people as "martyrs" and largely condemned as an attack on American Value's particularly by the religious community. Although the supporters of the play were not just amongst the gay community but the admirers came from all sections of the community based upon its moving depiction of the pain suffered by AIDS victims.
The last scene of the play (Part 1-Millenium Approaches) shows an Angel which breaks through the ceiling of Prior Walter's room in the hospital and there is a message which says ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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