Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika
by Tony Kushner
Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika Theme of Spirituality
As you might guess from the title, Angels in America deals quite a bit with the theme of spirituality. In Perestroika, we get a couple more visits from the angel, and then Prior marches up to Heaven to give a whole gaggle of the winged beings a piece of his mind. Part Two also continues to compare and contrast the faiths of Mormonism and Judaism. We get a mini lesson on Joseph Smith, who founded Mormonism, and we also get a comparison of the Mormons' migration to Salt Lake to the Hebrews' journey to Israel. Perestroika also continues to lay the biblical allusions on pretty thickly – Isaac, Jacob, Isaiah, and God himself all get name-dropped. In a scene that's usually cut from most productions, we even get to see what God looks like. He's a flaming Hebrew letter in need of a good lawyer – who knew?
Questions About Spirituality
- How does Joe's relationship with his Mormon faith change over the course of the play?
- In what ways does Angels in America compare and contrast Mormonism with Judaism?
- How is the biblical figure of Jacob referenced in the play?
- Describe the play's depiction of God.
- How would you sum up Kushner's overall message about religion?
- Why does Louis have such a hard time accepting that Joe is Mormon?
Chew on This
Angels in America blends Christian and Jewish tradition to create a unique mythology.
Prior can be compared to several different biblical figures, including Jonah, Jacob, Isaiah, and Jesus Christ.