Values and Standards in Kushner's Angels in America Essays

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What does Kushner propose about religious/personal standards, and are those standards valuable or do they cause difficulties? Many people today have a set of religious or personal standards that has aided them in obtaining their goals. However, there are many others who do their best to live up to those standards of perfection but end up living miserable lives. This essay will discuss the possible standards of Joe and Roy implied in the play, “Angels in America” by Tony Kushner, while discussing how they can be both valuable and questionable. Kushner implies that religious ideals act as guidelines for those who follow them. He brings this point across with the character called Joe. A Mormon who has used those…show more content…
Joe has work hard and done everything right to get to where he is now but isn't happy because he feels like he is missing something. Joe has a battle with himself over the wrong that's inside; “no matter how wrong or ugly that thing is, so long as I fought, with everything I have to kill it... As long as my behavior is what I know it has to be” (Angels in America pg. 40). Kushner's choice of words for Joe seem to suggest that he is fighting the “wrong” inside him but only because thats what these religious ideals dictate he should do. Joe seems to be hiding the fact that he is a homosexual, we see this when his wife Harper asks him and he responds; “What if I... No. I'm not. I don't see what difference it makes” (Angels in America pg. 38). This is an example of how religious ideals bring difficulties not only in how a person lives but also their sexuality.

Kushner also prompts the consideration of having personal highly desirable goals. He introduces such standards with another character called Roy Cohn who has achieved a great deal of power by focusing on himself alone; “don't be afraid to live in the raw wind, naked, alone... Learn at least this: What you are capable of. Let nothing stand in your way” (Angels in America pg. 58). Roy is talking to Joe and giving him advice about life and how must get rid of everything that holds him back in order to get

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