Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika
by Tony Kushner
Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika Spirituality Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line)
Orrin: When will we arrive in Zion, father? When will our great exodus finally be done? (3.3.39)
These lines come from one of the dummy Mormon sons in the diorama room. (By dummy we mean mannequin – we're sure he's a very smart dummy.) The fact that the boy uses the words "Zion" and "exodus" instantly reveals the connections between Judaism and Mormonism. "Zion" is an ancient Hebrew word for the Promised Land – Israel, basically. And "exodus" makes us think of the Jews' journey out of Egypt, where they escaped slavery and eventually came to Israel. The use of these terms here seems to ask us to compare the journey of the ancient Hebrews to that of the Mormons.
Louis: I don't like cults.
Joe: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not a cult.
Louis: Any religion that's not at least two thousand years old is a cult. (3.3.61)
Louis, a Jew, has no respect for Joe's Mormonism. He just cannot wrap his brain around the fact that Joe is a Mormon, which doesn't even seem like a real religion to him. Throughout the play, these two characters help us compare and contrast these two religions. (Note that Christianity is the 2,000-year-old religion Louis is referring to here. Judaism is even older.)
Joe: [...] I keep expecting divine retribution for this, but... I'm actually happy. Actually. (3.4.17)
In the first part of Angels in America, Joe really struggled with his homosexuality. He was taught as a child that being gay was evil. Now, though, it seems like he's beginning to be able to square his sexual preference with his faith.