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Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika

Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika


by Tony Kushner

Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika Visions of America: The Reagan Era Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line)

Quote #1

Aleksii Antedilluvianovich Prelapsarianov: And what have you to offer now, children of this Theory? What have you to offer in its place? Market Incentives? American Cheeseburgers? Watered-down Bukharinite stopgap makeshift Capitalism! (1.3.1)

Aleksii criticizes his countrymen for allowing the influence of American capitalism to finally infiltrate the Soviet Union. This battle of political ideologies – capitalism vs. communism – was at the center of the Cold War. Though it is hotly debated, many say that Reagan's greatest legacy was the successful and peaceful ending of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. In the quote above, we can see that Aleksii thinks this is all a really bad idea.

Quote #2

Prior: That ludicrous spectacle in there, just a parody of the funeral of someone who really counted. We don't; faggots; we're just a bad dream the world is having, and the real world's waking up. And he's dead. (2.1.4)

President Reagan is remembered by many as anti-gay, and his administration has been accused of encouraging the homophobia that already existed before it took office. Click here, though, to read an argument that Reagan's relationship with the gay rights movement may have actually been a little more complicated.

Quote #3

Prior: It's 1986 and there's a plague, half my friends are dead and I'm only thirty-one [...]. (2.2.118)

The AIDS epidemic was totally out of control by the time 1986 rolled around. Reagan and his administration has been widely criticized for its long silence regarding the AIDS epidemic in America. Many LGBT activists have accused the administration of ignoring the disease because it was thought to mostly impact gay men and African Americans. Thousands of Americans, many of them gay men, died before the administration formally acknowledged the disease. A whole movement arose with the slogan "Silence = Death."

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