Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches
by Tony Kushner
Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches Visions of America: The Reagan Era Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line)
Louis: What's it like to be the child of the Zeitgeist? To have the American Animus as your dad? (2.7.29)
Here, Louis says he's been thinking a lot about Reagan's children and how crazy it must be to have him as a dad. The fact that Louis refers to Reagan as the "American Animus" is pretty interesting. There are lots of layers to this. Animus is a term used by Carl Jung, the famous psychiatrist who developed the theory of the collective unconscious. (More on that here.) Jung defined an Animus as the masculine aspect of the female psyche; it is an unconscious drive that exists in all women. So it seems like Louis is saying that Reagan is the incarnation of all that is macho in America (if we think of America as female). Note that earlier Louis also refers to "Reaganites" as "macho assholes." It doesn't stop there, though. Animus has other meanings as well. It can mean "a basic attitude or governing spirit" and also "a spiteful or malevolent will" (source). Both of these definitions would seem to fit Louis' idea of Reagan.
Louis: Maybe we are free. To do whatever. Children of the new morning, criminal minds. Selfish and greedy and loveless and blind. Reagan's children. You're scared. So am I. Everybody is in the land of the free. God help us all (2.7.55).
Louis implies here that everyone is Reagan's child. Remember before when he was saying how disconnected the Reagan family is? Well, he's using that as a metaphor for what he sees as general disconnectedness and lack of community in the country as a whole.