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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 2, Scene 4 Summary

  • We're in another split scene.
  • On one side of the stage, Louis and an anonymous man are eyeing each other in the Rambles, a cruising area in Central Park.
  • On the other side, Roy and Joe are hanging out in a fancy bar. Roy is drinking a lot and randomly eats food off of Joe's plate (ooh, that Roy). Joe, drinks nothing.
  • Joe is telling Roy about Harper. He says she started taking pills after she had a miscarriage, or maybe before.
  • Apparently she had a bad home life growing up – lots of drinking and probably physical abuse. He says she never talks about it directly, though. Instead she talks about the sky falling down and dudes with knives.
  • Joe says people don't imagine Mormons having homes like that, but they do. Defensively, he says it's not hypocrisy; it's just hard to live up to God's high standards.
  • Joe apologizes for going on about all this with Roy.
  • Roy says he's cool with heart to hearts.
  • Joe starts talking about how he's afraid that he's attracted to Harper's darker side – maybe, because he has a darker side too.
  • He says she'll totally freak out if they go to Washington, DC.
  • Roy advises him to leave her in New York.
  • Joe's sure she'll fall apart.
  • Roy points out that he's the best divorce lawyer around.
  • Joe asks Roy if Washington can wait.
  • Roy advises him to do something for himself – at least somebody should get what he wants in life.
  • Back on the other side of the stage, the anonymous man asks Louis what he wants.
  • Louis launches into a lot of hardcore sex talk – S&M "punish me" stuff.
  • The man asks Louis if he wants to be punished.
  • Louis thinks that's a swell idea.
  • The man demands that Louis take him home.
  • Louis refuses, probably because he feels guilty about taking this random dude back to his and Prior's apartment.
  • The man asks if Louis' lover knows where he is.
  • Louis tells him to change the subject. He asks the man if they can go to his house.
  • "I live with my parents," the man admits (2.9.54).
  • Now we flash over to the other side of the stage.
  • Roy is talking about the importance of father figures. He lists the important men in his life: Walter Winchell, J. Edgar Hoover, and Joseph McCarthy.
  • Joe admits that he had a difficult relationship with his father.
  • Roy tells him should find another father figure: "Woman are for birth, beginning, but the father is continuance. The son offers the father his life as a vessel for carrying forth his father's dream" (2.4.58).
  • Joe talks about how his dad, a military man, was hard and cold.
  • Roy talks about how a father's love has to be hardcore sometimes. A father has to be tough to prepare his son for the cold, cruel world.
  • Back to the Louis and his new friend in the park. The man says they'll just have to have sex in the park.
  • Louis asks if the man has a condom.
  • The man says he doesn't use them.
  • Louis tells him he should and pulls a condom out of his coat. Stubbornly, the man refuses to put it on, but when Louis refuses to have sex otherwise, he agrees.
  • Louis says it too cold to have sex outside.
  • The man begs Louis, saying he'll warm him up.
  • They start having sex.
  • The condom breaks, and the man asks Louis if he wants him to keep going.
  • "Keep going. Infect me. I don't care. I don't care," says Louis (2.4.81).
  • The man says he needs to go.
  • Louis tells him to say hello to his parents.
  • The man slaps him across the face.
  • "It was a joke," says Louis (2.4.85).
  • The man walks off.
  • Now back to Joe and Roy talking some more.
  • Roy tells Joe that he wants him to think of him like family.
  • Joe says he owes nearly everything to Roy.
  • The older man tells Joe that he has cancer. (Yeah, right, "cancer.") Roy says he isn't afraid of death. Life has been terrible, so how bad could death possibly be?
  • He insists that Joe take the job in Washington. Roy advises the younger man like a father, telling him, "Life is full of horror; nobody escapes [...] don't be afraid to live in the raw wind, naked, alone... " (2.4.94).
  • He tells Joe to let nothing stand in the way of his potential.

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