Angels in America Essay

1263 Words Feb 12th, 2013 6 Pages
Carter O’Leary
Angels In America Essay
Rabbi Chemelwitz says in his eulogy (Millennium) that the "Great Voyages" of the past no longer exist. Does the play bear out the truth of his belief or not? If not, what are the new great voyages? Tony Kushner’s play, Angels In America, explores the trials of the journey of human life through the development of his characters throughout the play. When Rabbi Chemelwitz says “Great Voyages is this world do not any more exist.” (Millennium 16) he speaks only the partial truth. It is true that none of the characters at the funeral can make the same kind of trip Sarah Ironson made, the pilgrimage from her home to a foreign land across the Atlantic. However, the voyage to America Sarah took and the
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For the immigrant, it is the physical hardship of adjusting to life at sea and the emotional hardship of losing their home. For Prior, it is the physical hardship of his own body betraying him due to his AIDS and the emotional shock of needing to live without having Louis as a part of his life. The point where we truly see Prior’s voyage is in Perestroika when he climbs the ladder to heaven. The voyage to heaven and back is Prior’s physical great voyage in the play. Everything else has lead up to this culmination of his journey. Prior: But still. Still. Bless me anyway. I want more life. I can’t help myself. I do. I’ve lived through such terrible times, and there are people who live through much worse, but...You see them living anyway. When they’re more spirit than body, more sores than skin, when they’re burned and in agony, when flies lay eggs in the corners of the eyes f their children, they live. (Perestroika 267) When Prior says this, it shows that even though he recognizes that his life is awful, and life in general can be awful, he wants to go on living. While it may seem contradictory, it ends up working out for him in the end when he and Louis make up in the epilogue, or final chapter of Prior’s great voyage. Prior manages to reverse all of the bad about him, except for the AIDS, and even that he is able to beat with his wish for more life. Harper’s great voyage is

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