Angels in America

A Nation of Angels: The Development of American Progressivism in Angels in America College

A play of epic proportions, Tony Kushner’s magnum opus Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia On National Themes presents a portrait of America that is at first sight devastating, yet ultimately optimistic and profound in its analysis of humanity’s development amidst chaos. The play has two parts, Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, and each displays a very different approach to the reality of America in 1985; the former is a world of destruction whereas the latter is a nation of renewal. Throughout both parts, the four main characters struggle to overcome the irony within themselves and each other, the same irony that poses a threat to their spiritual survival. The first section ends with the characters at the height of these inner conflicts, with seemingly little hope for salvation. In Perestroika, the main four overcome these ironies with direct (sometimes unconscious) help from others, leading to an ending filled with optimism not only for the characters, but for the audience and the world as well. Kushner’s epic Angels in America utilizes two distinctly different parts that chronicle the four main characters’ struggles to forgive the ironies not only within themselves but with each other, and these developments lead up to...

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