Essay: Overview of Tony Kushner’s play
Change and progress is a major theme of Tony Kushner’s play Angels and Demons. In fact, the second part of the play is titled Perestroika, which is Russian for ‘restructuring’. Although the word has its origins in Soviet Russia’s political and economic ideology under the presidency of Mikhail Gorbachev, its use in the play is apt to some extent. Other themes explored in the play such as conformity within communities and the attitude of society towards homosexuality and AIDS relate to the underlying idea of transformation within the society and the individual.
Initially there is resistance to change, because change will need acceptance of disturbing unconventional ideas and broken homes and relationships. For some, like Roy, accepting who he is and coming to terms with the parts that he is most secretive about would be the biggest change of all. For others, like Harper, change would mean acceptance of her husband’s homosexuality and learning to lead a life without him in a new surroundings. However, only by doing so would people be able to move forwards and progress as individuals and as a society. Such issues cannot be ignored forever, and those who would rather stick their head in the ground and hope troubles will go away will only wake up in greater despair.
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