Angels in America

by Tony Kushner

Start Free Trial

Student Question

What is the plot of Act I in Angels in America?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Act One of Kushner's work analyzes what it means to be gay in America.  It addresses the challenges and issues regarding identity in terms of those who are homosexual.  It approaches this from several ends.  The Roy Cohn character is meant to display the repression associated with being gay, and through it, the reader also sees the assault on being gay that has been launched by the right wing of the Republican party.  In the relationship between Lew and Prior, one sees the effects AIDS has had on the gay community and the crucible its reality has had on it.  In the story of Joe and Harper, the issue of being gay is analyzed through the lens of the "ideal" heterosexual community where there might be facades imposed by one, or both, parties.  Essentially, Act One details the difficulty in being gay in America, a narrative that is enhanced in Act Two which serves to validate the voices of those who are gay in America.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial