Study Guide

Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika Spirituality

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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

  1. How does Joe's relationship with his Mormon faith change over the course of the play?
  2. In what ways does <em>Angels in America</em> compare and contrast Mormonism with Judaism?
  3. How is the biblical figure of Jacob referenced in the play?
  4. Describe the play's depiction of God.
  5. How would you sum up Kushner's overall message about religion?
  6. Why does Louis have such a hard time accepting that Joe is Mormon?

Chew on This

<em>Angels in America</em> 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.

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