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Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches

Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches

by Tony Kushner

Isolation Theme

Over the course of Millennium Approaches the characters become more and more isolated. Prior, sick with AIDS, is abandoned by his lover Louis. Harper's worst fears come true when her husband, Joe, admits that he's gay. By the end of the first part of Angels in America, her only friends are imaginary. And then there's Roy Cohn, who is also sick with AIDS. After a life of corruption, Roy is left alone on the floor with no one to talk to but the ghost of a woman he used illegal means to get executed. On the other hand, out of the wreckage of their past relationships, Joe and Louis come together. Will the relationship work? Will they escape isolation? Can these two men, who walked out on their previous relationships, be happy together?

Questions About Isolation

  1. Which character do you think is the most isolated in the play, and why?
  2. What are some symbols of isolation in the play, and how do they relate to the characters?
  3. Does the play portray the idea that isolation is permanent? Explain your thoughts.
  4. Isolation often means unhappiness. Is this true for every character in all the situations they face?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Almost every character in the play experiences isolation in some form. By the end, though, these characters are offered comfort through new relationships, self-realizations, and supernatural occurrences.

The play suggests that relationships are temporary and loneliness is a natural human state.

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