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)
Harper: I'm stuck. My heart's an anchor.
Mormon mother: Leave it, then. Can't carry no extra weight. (3.3.119-120)
One of the brilliant things about the play is the way it links the big and the small. Here we see that Harper is having serious trouble getting over Joe. The play seems to be saying that, just like the country (and all of humanity for that matter), Harper has to find a way to move forward.
Joe: The rhythm of history is conservative. (3.4.26)
What does Joe mean by this? That humans are slow to change? Hmm, sometimes that's true, but sometimes radical change happens fast. And we are always changing in the long run. Ultimately the play as a whole seems to disagree with Joe's viewpoint, opting for the opposite idea: the rhythm of history is progressive.
Roy: [...] (punching an imaginary button with his finger) Hold. (4.9.29)
This is Roy's last word before he dies. We're thinking it's more than a little symbolic that Roy, who represents all that's bad with conservatism, would say "Hold" with his last breath. In the mind of this progressive play, holding is seen as exactly what society can't do.