Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika
by Tony Kushner
Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika Philosophical Viewpoints: Progressivism Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line)
Prior: As the human race began to progress, travel, intermingle, everything started to come unglued. Manifest first as tremors in Heaven. (2.2.70)
The angel tells Prior that the human urge to progress and change has totally wrecked Heaven. All the moving around people do has caused some major heavenquakes, and the whole place has really suffered. She begs Prior to take up her charge to make humanity stop moving. Why do you think Kushner depicts human progress as wreaking havoc on Heaven?
Angel: Bored with His Angels, Bewitched by Humanity,
In Mortifying imitation of You, his least creation,
He would sail off on Voyages, no knowing where. (2.2.79)
It looks like God caught the disease of progress from human beings. More and more, he began to take off for parts unknown, leaving his angels behind. Eventually he totally deserted them.
Voice: In 1847, across fifteen hundred miles of frontier wilderness, braving mountain blizzards, desert storms, and renegade Indians, the first Mormon wagon trains made their difficult way towards the Kingdom of God. (3.3.31)
Throughout the play the motif of migration is linked to the idea of progress. Here we see it pop up in the diorama room of the Mormon Visitors Center. The Mormons' journey across America to Salt Lake is linked to all the other great human migrations throughout history. Note that this is exactly the sort of thing that the angel wants to stop.