Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Tony Kushner's Angels in America or How American History Spins Forward

Alfonso Ceballos Muñoz


Angels in America’s roaring success represents a real turning point in mainstream American drama. This article explores both Kushner’s treatment of history—particularly American history—and the ingredients which compound the melting pot American society had become in the 1980s. Through the specific situations the characters undergo in both Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, the playwright exposes his own Brechtian and neo-Hegelian vision of current events. Kushner deliberately recycles traditional American myths and elements of American culture and pins them all on a reconstruction of identity—whether gender, racial, or political—as the real axes of his plays. By making gay characters lead the plays, and by including obvious religious elements from an apocalyptic literary style, political discussions on Reagan’s policy on AIDS, and reminiscent historical images, Angels in America becomes a revision of the new National Period America is living as the promised land which every single individual re-creates with her/his daily efforts and capabilities.

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