© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches

Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches


by Tony Kushner

Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches Act 1, Scene 2 Summary

  • Our helpful stage directions inform us that it's the same day.
  • We meet two men named Roy and Joe, who are in Roy's office.
  • An elaborate phone system with tons of beepy flashy things is the only object on Roy's desk. Roy conducts business on his crazy phone system while Joe sits in a chair and waits for him to finish.
  • "I wish I was an octopus," Roy tells Joe, as he presses a button to put somebody on hold. "Eight loving arms and all those suckers. Know what I mean?" (1.2.2.).
  • Joe has no idea what he means.
  • Roy flies through a million other people on the phone, pressing buttons and cursing all the way.
  • Eventually he stops and gets all profound with Joe: "I see the universe, Joe, as a kind of sandstorm in outer space with winds of mega-hurricane velocity, but instead of sand it's shards and splinters of glass" (1.2.14).
  • Joe doesn't seem to really get what he's talking about.
  • Roy asks Joe how things are working at the Appeals Court.
  • Joe says it's good.
  • It comes out that Joe does most of the work for the judge down there, some of which it seems like the judge ought to be doing.
  • Roy starts flying through people on the phone again.
  • Mrs. Stopper pops up. It looks like Roy borrowed $87,000 that he may or may not be able to pay back.
  • Roy spews one obscenity after another as he talks to the different people on the phone.
  • Tentatively, Joe asks him to stop taking the Lord's name in vain.
  • This seems to take Roy totally off guard. He laughs and apologizes.
  • On the phone, Roy asks his secretary to tell everybody to leave him alone. All of Roy's attention is suddenly on Joe.
  • Roy asks Joe what religion he follows.
  • Joe says he's Mormon.
  • Roy offers Joe a job in the Justice Department in Washington.
  • The sudden offer surprises Joe, and he says he'll have to think about it. It seems like a great opportunity, but he's got to see what his wife has to say about it.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...