am 26. Februar 1999
If I wasn't required to read "Angels in America" I probably would have never had the chance to experience one of the most heart felt books ever read. I'm not one to read and this book from the first page grabbed me and practically sucked me in. I found myself unable to put it down. I wanted to read more and more just to find out what was going to happen next. I admire how Kurshner gets the reader so in tuned to the book. He has a way of grasping the readers attention and keeping the readers attention til the very end. Although some parts of the book through me off a bit, overall I could really relate to what was being explained. I liked especially how Kurshner talks about real issues that many people in society today turn their heads on and even sometimes discriminate against. I have extremem respect for people who are not afraid to be themselves and don't care what others may think of them. Kurshner presents three different prespectives on homosexuality. One of a couple very open about their sexuality, anotherof a man who isn't really sure of it and last a man who is living in denial. All are very real situations that society is faced with today. Also, there is a large number of people living with AIDS and are trying to cope with it as best they can. I experienced loosing a close friend of the family who was homosexual with AIDS and I know how hard it is to watch someone you love so much just wither away slowly and to see such fear in that persons eyes. It really makes an impact on ones life. I can't explain in words how I felt when I finished this book. All I can say is that it made me realize that life is short and we shouldn't take it for granted. Society spends to much time critizing people instead of making friends and enjoying having the opportunity to experience and know so may unique individuals. Again I say this book was fabulous.
am 26. Februar 1999
The play written by Tony Kushner carries a vital message to today's society. The characters in the play are well thought out and developed for the duration of the play. Through the development of the characters, the reader becomes heavily involved and entangled in the struggles faced by the characters. Kushner is able to carefully weave characters together effectively including a Valium addicted housewife and a homosexual drag queen. The play is brillantly put together, causing the characters to be in direct conflict with one another and, at times, themselves. Roy Cohn, for example, is a homosexual bigot whose very existence contradicts itself. The play ultimately has little resolution. Roy dies still denying what he is, Joe is with Harper, and most of the other characters find themselves at the end of the play in a similar predicament they were in at the beginning. The one thing that does change is the characters no longer have a feeling of loneliness. Loneliness seems to be the central issue of the play. It has an effect on all human beings, no matter what their differences. Through Kushner's play, a very strong and effective message is sent out that homosexuals are human too and their suffering is just as great as the heterosexual society. In essence, Angels in America should be considered a milestone. It captures some of the injustices and struggles faced by a large group of the American population in today's world. The play demonstrates that while the group being discriminated against may have changed, the feelings of those in the minority have not changed. This shows how all groups, including the majority, are equally human because of their fear of loneliness.
am 25. Februar 1999
"Angels In America" offers us new insight on self-discovery. Throughout the play, characters talk of "Threshold of revelation." While reading this, you ask yourself, "What is this revelation they always speak of?" Tony Kushner magnificently magnificently answers this question thorough his troubled characters. Prior fights with his disease, Joe wrestles with his identity, Louis challenges his ability to love, and Harper tests her sanity. Each character is able to learn and reveal something about themselves as a result of their individual struggles. It is these revelations that set them free. It is because of each character's story that "Angles in America" touches every person that reads it. We can relate to trying to overcome obstacles that have been thrown in our way. Through their remarkable stories, we learn about true love, accepting who we are, and making sure to live life to the fullest no matter what blockades life may throw in your way. This dramatic play discusses serious issues such as AIDS and religion, but it never loses its humor in the process. Overall, "Angels In America" is an inspirational play that shows us how difficult life can be, but that should not keep us from wanting more life. Kushner's characters learn life's terrible lessons, but manage to handle them in an extraordinary way. By the end of the play, we catch ourselves saying, "I want more life" just as Prior does.
am 16. März 1999
Angels In America, Tony Kushner's two part play was an intriguing play to read. I could not put this book down. The graphic detail kept me turning page after page. This is one of the only authors who kept me intrested throughout the whole play. Tony's attention to detail gave incite to someone like me, who has no real idea of the trials that homosexuals, may incur, in dealing with day to day life. The characters, wether homosexual or hetrosexual, all struggled with the American way of life. Each and every character seems to be content in their own way of life, their dream if you will; however, once they come to terms with their sexuality, religion, or mental state, they realize that their perfect dream world has become a nightmare. Kushner does an amazing job keeping the reader enthralled with the lives of these characters. However, the choppy scenes and constant referal to the beginnning of the book began to confuse me. Overall, I believe that this book should be read by all because it is very informative about current issues in today's world such as AIDS, death, religion, and sexuality. Kushner's main issue that he is trying to portray to the reader is that everyone, at some point in time has a rise and a fall. The life lesson is learning how to pull yourself up again.
am 2. März 1999
Tony Kushner's play Angels in America is a look into the lives of people who at first seem exact opposities. However, as the play unfolds we see how all of their suffering is intertwined. The play focuses mainly on the character Prior, who is a homosexual man living with AIDS in the 80's, and all of the people directly and indirectly involved in his life. Not only did this play open my eyes to the horrors of AIDS, it also had a few humorous lines that were well placed. The play is not just about a man living with AIDS it also looks into feelings we have as human being. These feelings are seen through the characters such as the greedy lawyer, the Valuim addicted abandoned housewife, the ex-lover, and the mother of a Mormon homosexual. All in all this play shows how deep down no matter what differences we have on the surface, deep down we are all people who can suffer just as much as the next person.
am 25. Februar 1999
"Angels In America" is a piece of literature like none I have read before. Its content was quite a surprise to me and I do need to say that there were many parts that were very inappropriate and not needed in order to get the author's points across. Besides the sexual content, the rest was of great importance in the author's explanantion of life and life in America at that. I do think the way that Tony Kushner arranged this play was incredible and it is a great literary piece for the issues that it touches on. Tony Kushner explores many issues that were slowly emerging but trying to be kept submerged in the mid to late 80's. The conflicts within the play were based on the dreams and nightmares of sexuality, religion and politics. Exploration into the deepest realms of sexual preference and trying to escape from the prejudices of society was a lot of what Kushner was trying to make evident to his audience. Kushner focuses mostly on the emphasis of freedom as a dream in America but it becoming a nightmare because of the choices made in life such as sexual preference and what to make of religion. He focuses on nightmares that come from the dream of freedom and the inability to escape. I envision a maze with no end - people walking around aimlessly with no end to their pain and suffering in sight.
I really like how Tony Kushner throughout this play makes it very realistic through the conflicts the characters encounter. I enjoy how he discusses openly the "abnormal" society as oppossed to the hum drum everyday life of normal plain characters. The characters he creates makes his audience aware of the struggles that everybody faces through life, and the life-defining questions that everybody asks. He used characters that were lost and did not know what they should be doing with their lives. Kushner makes it apparent that life is the time where we search for the answers and we encounter may conflicts during our search which diverts our attention or helps us along the way.
I do not believe that this play was used to make people aware of conflicts of the homosexual life, but of the conflicts and confusion that everybody will encounter in their lifetime; whether it be because of their sexual preference, political stance, religious decisions or sanity. Maybe the distasteful scenes in this play help portray the struggle of life, but I still really do not know what to make of them.
am 25. Februar 1999
Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize winning work, Angels In America, is a monumental masterpiece. Angels In America is a deep imaginative work which transcends from earth into Heaven; while focusing on various issues such as AIDS, sex, politics, and religion. In the two full length plays, Millenium Approaches and Perestroika, Kushner illustrates highly imaginative, expressionistic-surrealistic techniques that tell a story of people trying to not only find meaning within the world, but also to find meaning within their lives. Prior is a man who is not only deteriorating due to the fact that he has AIDS, but also because his lover Louis abandoned him. Through his hallucinative encounters with his ancestors and angels; Prior will come to the realization that even when death is evident, if you have hope, you have life. Louis, Prior's ex-lover, becomes involved with Joe, an ex-Mormon, who decided to come out of the closet when his wife, Harper, who has a mild Valium addiction, is slowly having a nervous breakdown. Then there is Roy Cohn, a successful New York lawyer, who desperately tries to conceal his homosexuality and AIDS because he believes that only heterosexual men, not homosexual men, can have high power and clout.
All in all, Kushner wrote an astonishing American play that emphasizes the issues of our time. Issues like AIDS and homosexuality that were blatantly disregarded during the Reagan years, prohibited among religious beliefs, and looked down upon by society as a whole. Moreover, the play transcends deeper than these issues alone. There is a realistic sense of wanting to find meaning in a senseless world, a world that disregards the struggles and tragedies of human life. Finally, there is the longing to find meaning in life, to come to the realization that we should not be shameful for who we are, or what we do, also that we are wonderful creatures who deserve the blessing of more life!
am 24. Februar 1999
Turning and turning in the widening gyr
The falcon cannot bear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world
W. B. Yeats: "The Second Coming"
Tony Kushner's Angel in America reminded me of Yeat's words since the play presents an American gay community falling apart, and wreaked havoc by AIDS and fear in the 80s through Reagan's presidency. I love the way Kushner depicts marvelously and humorously the gay community because it reveals that social rejection and repulsion toward a minority affects the behaviors of this society's all members to the point where they behave anti-heroically. I was very impressed how each character in the play represented a "type" of being whom we all are inside ourselves.
Louis, who thought he knew what love was truly about, abandons Prior at the first minute Prior's illness aggravates. When I read that scene, I felt the same way as Prior. I was disgusted as well as disappointed at Louis' decision. It seems that AIDS and the view of society toward it had influenced Louis so heavily that he had to quit Prior. I do not wish to judge Louis for his actions because I believe that Kushner's intention was to show us that human love often becomes impermanent and illusive. This made me realize the mediocrity of human nature along with mine, which has often submitted to social pressure and prejudice toward AIDS.
Joe refuses, at the beginning, his sexual orientation, which poisons his relationship with Harper. Then, Harper, at the end, refuses Joe's accepting his homosexuality and wants him back with her. Her love of freedom from Joe has become a fear of loneliness. America advocates individualism, but it can often be transformed into solitude. Moreover, Joe and Harper struggle firmly to create a happy American family, which, in their case, leads to suffering and despair. The hypocritical behavior of a society, which forces gays to remain silent about their sexual orientation, does not solve anything, but rather exacerbates tensions in couples such as Joe's and Harper's.
Hannah, Joe's mother, is part of this society that refuses reality and prefers silence to truth. She indeed feigns not to understand her son Joe when he confesses his homosexuality to her. Kushner draws a sorry reality of parents who refuses their children's homosexuality.
Finally, Roy hates what he is and persecutes his "peers." Kushner describes wonderfully how society can annihilate human beings' self-esteem to the point where they hate themselves and one another.
Again, Kushner is a master at representing society's negative influence toward its members, which pollutes human relations such as Louis and Prior, Joe and Harper as well as Joe and Hannah for instance.
It was a great experience to read this gay comedy. As a white heterosexual man, I felt very uncomfortable while reading homosexual erotic scenes or even platonic homosexual love scenes, which made me realize that the homosexual community may have felt the same way while reading most of human literature about love, which is heterosexually-oriented. It is indeed difficult to imagine what and how the gay minority has felt when most of the time forgotten in the literature of love. I am grateful to Kushner for this work of art, which made it possible for me to grasp that feeling.
am 24. Februar 1999
Tony Kushner addresses several controversial topics namely homosexuality, politics, and religion in Angels in America. However, the most important theme of the play reaches beyond those topics. Kushner places emphasis on issues, such as discrimination and corruption, yet I found greater meaning in the play when I looked past those issues that Kushner raised.
Kushner depicts America as a country that focuses on images based on stereotypes and preconceived ideas that often have little experiential founding. Americans use those images as a framework for dealing with their everyday activities and encounters. This idea is not that shocking if you assume that Kushner means that Americans impose those images upon other people. Although he does portray that meaning, Kushner takes the imposition of those images a step further by showing through his characters that individuals also have stereotypes and preconceived ideas that they inflict upon themselves. While everyone needs an image of him or her self in order to function, they deny a part of themselves by embracing that image. Kushner shows how life is about struggling with the image we have of ourselves in order to have richer and more fulfilling experiences. We are constantly discovering aspects of the images that we have of ourselves that are false as well as becoming comfortable with those aspects that we find are true. The character Prior reveals that this process of self-discovery is an infinite journey on which people thrive. The journey may be full of pain and tragedy, but it also bears the fruit of revelation and understanding. For me, this lesson about humanity is what makes the play a respectable and praiseworthy piece of work.
am 24. Februar 1999
After reading Tony Kushner's "Angels In America" I was thoroughly confused. I thought I had a fair grasp on the basic idea and message of the play, that being that we are all equal and we all struggle and persevere even though we may have differences. But I felt incredibly disorientated after I finished reading the plays. I couldn't put my finger on it but I knew that I had missed something, I felt that there were several underlying messages that Kushner had meant to express upon the reader, which I had missed. I believe part of the reason for that was the way Kushner dealt with the main themes (exploring one's self, coming to terms with who we all are, accepting people for who they are unconditionally). He was so passionate and vivid in dealing with these themes that when he would touch on other themes (such as politics or theories about the creative mind) that I felt I almost didn't have enough in me to deal with those topics as well. While it is true that I feel I could gain very much insight on these plays by reading them a few more times, I did feel very touched by them nevertheless. Throughout the plays as the characters were being developed, I thought Kushner did an incredible job of making the reader feel like part of the story. The effect of bringing the reader into the story more by relating the story to their own lives is not a new practice, but I think Kushner did a great job of doing just that. I was very impressed at how well he related the characters in the plays to fairly universal human issues. I was especially impressed considering that the group he was drawing the issues from was a minority (homosexuals) and yet still managed to make valid connections between that group and the rest of humanity. I think that was a very important piece of the puzzle for Kushner in making "Angels In America " a successful work. He seemed to be trying very hard to show that homosexuals are human to and that no matter what your sexual preference, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or ethnic background you come from we are all connected and all one. I personally thought Kushner did a great job of expressing those feelings. Overall, although a little confused, I thought these plays were absolutely wonderful. I would recommend "Angels In America" to anyone interested in a good look into the struggles and trials of humanity and how through these struggles we can find out the most amazing things about ourselves and others.