Angels Essay, Research Paper
I found that one of the most common themes among Angels in America and
almost all of the other plays was that of denial. As Ryan Childers said,
Almost every character in this play is in denial.
This makes a very good point. Many of the plays, movies and books that we
experience generally have one or more characters that are in some kind of
denial. This is very important to a story, and also very easy. Having a character
that is in denial always gives several different options for an ending. The
problem can be solved or unsolved, but usually has some sort of meaning
behind it. It is not the conflict between characters that we find interesting as
much as the character s conflict with themselves. We are always interested to
see what will happen to the character and whether he/she will come to terms
with that conflict. Sometimes the character does, sometimes they don t.
However, we always feel satisfied no matter what the end result is.
As I read Angels in America I was running in through in my head, both as a play
and as a film. This would be a difficult play to direct, but it would be very
challenging. As a film it would be a lot of fun toying with the split scenes and the
character development. The denial of almost the entire cast would play a major
role in the intensity of the both the stage and film version of this play. As I read,
it reminded me of a Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, or another Quentin Tarantino
film. Jumping from scene to scene and keeping the audience in amazement at
We can go through every character in every play and find each of them in some
sort of denial. From Nora to Torvald to Goodman Brown and to Dodge from
Buried Child. Each of these characters is in denial of something that they have
done or something that they feel. Denial is an important part of virtually every
play written. You cannot have conflict among characters without conflict within
the characters. As Kristi Leischner said,
You can see Joe trying to convince himself that it is Harper who is the problem.
Not only is this denial, but it also shows how many characters lay blame for their
own defeats. Blaming others is also very important in the development of
characters. Kristi makes an excellent point by not only defining a certain set of
characters in Angels in America, but also in the man-woman relationships we
see in many plays. We can see this same situation take place in the interaction
of husbands and wives or boyfriends to girlfriends in so many plays that it is
almost redundant. In film and in stage, it is common to see two characters of
opposite sex, or same sex, to be having relationship difficulties. Often the two
characters are both in the stage of denial, or either one or the other is in denial.
This often also leads to one, or both, characters placing the blame and fault on
the other. This conflict is usually resolved by the end of the story. One of the
characters usually realizes their fault and gives in to the other. This wasn t
necessarily the case in any of the relationships in Angels in America.