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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 Theme of Visions of America: The Reagan Era

Angels in America is pretty much the play on Reagan-era America. Sure, there are others, but few are as wide in scope. The AIDS epidemic was a major issue during this era, and much paranoia and misinformation surrounded the rise of the disease. The play focuses on the terrible toll that the AIDS epidemic took on the gay community. But the play expands beyond the issues of sexuality and disease to examine the Cold War and rise of modern conservatism under Reagan's presidency. Want to know more about the Reagan Era? Click here.

Questions About Visions of America: The Reagan Era

  1. Tony Kushner is known for expressing political views in his writing. What political positions are represented in the play? Are the representations fair?
  2. What does the Reagan Administration represent for Joe? How about for Louis? Compare and contrast their views.
  3. Does Roy seem to follow the conservative ideals he says are so important for a better America? How and how not?
  4. There are some characters who are obviously heavily involved with the politics of the time the play is set (we're looking at you Roy, Joe, and Louis), but what about the other characters? Are the politics of the time affecting them? In what ways?

Chew on This

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

Tony Kushner's left-wing politics are highly apparent in this play. The Reaganites in the play are portrayed as either immoral and power-hungry or naïve and deluded.

Angels in America presents a balanced and accurate view of America in the 1980s.

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