Angels in America

The World Only Spins Forward: An Analysis of Irony, Character, and Ending in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes College

Embedded deep within American culture is a multitude of internalized subjects that, for a time, seemed to be tearing individuals apart; examples of these topics are religion, sexuality, race, gender, economic class, and far more. Tony Kushner’s magnum opus, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, throws all of these matters onto a stage, analyzes them, humanizes them, and ultimately brings his characters into a unified coexistence despite the forces keeping them apart. This unified coexistence, Kushner argues, is progress, and the audience grows to understand Kushner’s hypothesis: that progress can be achieved by the fundamental act of forgiveness. The play is set in the 1980s, one of the most dividing ages in American history, and contains characters who are forced to overcome this age of internalized irony in order for the world to survive chaos. The endings of both parts of the play are crucial to this idea, as they shape the actions of the play’s events into Kushner’s aforementioned thesis of progress and growth. The analysis of character in the age of irony and the importance of the ending parallel each other through the play before amalgamating in the epilogue. The final scene exhibits for the audience four...

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