Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika
by Tony Kushner
Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika Theme of Isolation
In Millennium Approaches, the first part of Angels in America, we see each character slowly become more and more isolated over the course of the play. There's still plenty of isolation in Perestroika, but by the end of the play the characters have come together again in new and unexpected ways. Most have grown stronger as a result of their isolation. For example, Harper and Prior, who were each abandoned, find the strength to reject the lovers who deserted them. Both characters have grown from the pain that their isolation has caused.
Questions About Isolation
- In what ways do Harper and Prior find strength in isolation?
- As the characters in the play become more and more isolated, they tend to have more and more elaborate hallucinations and dreams. Do you think the play is showing the world of imagination as a place of escape or as a place to deal with your problems?
- In what ways does Roy demonstrate that he's afraid to be alone on his deathbed?
- Why does Harper leave Joe and head to San Francisco at the end of the play?
- Why do you think Joe is so insistent that Hannah should not have come to New York?
Chew on This
Over the course of Perestroika, the conservative characters become increasingly isolated, while the liberal ones form new communities.
The shared dreams that exist in the play present the hopeful idea that perhaps ultimately we are not alone.