Study Guide

Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika Politics

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There's no shortage of political talk going on in Angels in America. Conservative and liberal characters alike get their moment to spout their political beliefs. Kushner himself is a well-known socialist, and there's no doubt that his views on what he calls "economic justice" definitely seep into his plays (source). While it seems pretty clear that the play favors the political ideologies of its left-wing characters, Angels never seems to degenerate into political propaganda. Perhaps this is because all Kushner's characters – left, right, and in-between – are complex and humanely drawn. In the end, however, the ultimate political message of the play is to be a progressive one: even if it hurts, the play tells us, we must move forward.

Questions About Politics

  1. Which characters in the play represent right-wing politics? Left? In-between?
  2. Can the play still be considered politically topical today? Are the ideas of any current political movements depicted in the play?
  3. In what ways does the play seem to criticize conservative politics?
  4. Does the play criticize liberal politics? If so, how?
  5. Do you think a play is a good way to communicate a political message? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Though the conservative characters are represented in a <em>generally</em> sympathetic way, ultimately the play paints conservative politics as selfish and uncaring.

Though the play definitely presents a progressive political agenda, it keeps from becoming left-wing propaganda through its complex and humanely drawn characters.

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