Essay #4 Yolanda Cooley
The play Angels in America by Tony Kushner gives the reader an array of character development in which the struggle of society and politics provides a sense of loneliness and individual discontent to the people who do not conform to its structure. Joe Pitt, a polite and silent being, is forced to hide more skeletons in the closet than your average bored, upper-class business man. His homosexual desires and the downfall of his marriage allows him no peace. Whereas Roy Cohn, Joe’s opposite in his disposition to hate in which he does not internalizes, but extroverts his anger back upon society. He strikes out at others that would dare oppose him although this anger makes him even lonelier and he becomes a target to those who despise him. The progress in these characters reflect their loss of morals and they seep into a darker world – whether in be within themselves or the physical world – of which they can no longer run or fight from.
Hidden desires, shame, and punishment – this is the daily cycle Joe tends to. It eats away at him and finds no refuge. When his wife Harper suspects his sexuality, he lashes back, “I knew this when I married you…I thought maybe with enough effort…I could change myself…but I can’t.” (Kushner, 83) The despair he relinquishes is Joe’s torment in society. When everyone he knows and loves turns their back on him, he fears he has fallen from all grace that he had tried to attain. The truth is that when society does not accept a person or people, that particular person or group feels the isolation and unwanted aura from their humankind. They may attempt to change or hide the person they are but some secrets can’t be hidden away forever. For Joe, his resistance is not as powerful as his fears.
Roy Cohn is a successful lawyer in New York, who is dying of AIDS because of his sexual escapades with young men. He keeps his lovers separate from his professional life for the simple fact that if he...