I will not even pretend to grasp the subtleties of the entire play, and admit to not understanding much of its political and social context. But none of these factors prevented me from enjoying this human drama that spoke directly to me even when I wasn't sure what it was saying. The play Angels in America, to me, dealt with homophobia, intolerance, view points of identity, tradition and heritage, prejudice and stigma, and AIDS. These caused the main characters many problems and pressure to be something they weren't.
Roy Cohn had an interesting line. He said that even though he had sex with men that did not make him a homosexual. He did not identify himself with a homosexual because he felt he was too powerful to be considered that. To him, homosexuals were weak and unimportant, which is something he didn't want to identify with. So, that makes him refuse the diagnosis of AIDS, since it is related to homosexuals, and chose to say he had liver cancer instead.
The character of Joe was someone who had to deal with the pressures of society to be what his family and his Mormon church wanted him to be. When he called to tell his mom that he was a homosexual she told him that he was talking crazy and that they should just pretend they never had the conversation. He was married to "Harper" who he left emotionally and sexually unsatisfied. He did not want to admit that he was homosexual not only because of his parents, but because he was brought up to think that being homosexual was not decent or pure. He wanted to be a respectable human being like his religion taught him. But he was torn because he couldn't deny that side of himself so he went for walks in Central Park. I do not think he did anything prior to his kiss with Louis but he was out there watching.
Harper, because she could not deal with her husbands drifting, became depressed and addicted to Valium. Because people, like Joe, can not "come out" with these "problems" since societal pressure...
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