Tony Kushner's Angels In America

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From the late 1940s to the early 1950s ( Staff 1), fear governed the United States of America. It was fear that led the country through a period of frantic madness which was characterized by drastic actions to eliminate any trace of communism. This was the Red Scare. As the Cold War intensified and the threat of soviet spies roaming around the United States increased, government officials such as Senator Joseph McCarthy ( Staff 1) made it their aim to hunt down anyone who could be suspected of having communist ideas. Thirty years later, Ronald Reagan, this time, displayed the same anti-communist fervor. In Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, opposing ideologies are brilliantly depicted into characters. While Roy Cohn’s character…show more content…
In the early 1980s, America was hit by a recession (Country studies 1). In his desire to lead the United States to the prosperity that they once had, Reagan brought about various changes. These, he hoped, were the necessary steps to take in order to be on “the swiftest road to economic growth” (Country studies 1). In spite of his best efforts, the recession affected many. In the play, this recession is explained via a simile. Still in scene five of the third act, Ethel notices that Roy has lost much weight. He replies that he hasn’t been healthy since 1960, and that he “…look[s] like a skeleton.” (Kushner 116). When someone is compared to a skeleton, it is evident that he or she is not getting the appropriate amount of nutrients. Though impaired nutrition can touch anyone, those who live in poverty are more at risk. Hence, the healthy weight of 1960 really depicts the post-war era of prosperity. The skeleton however, describes the recession that the United States faced in the beginning of Reagan’s presidency (Country studies 2). In the end, as she observes Roy’s weight loss, Ethel is really questioning the necessity of the changes brought about by

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