Angels in America

Angels in America

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Joe Pitt’s mother, Hannah Pitt is a devoutly Mormon woman, disliked by many of her neighbors and friends, who moves to New York City after Joe comes out to her as gay. Hannah doesn’t approve of her son’s sexuality, and yet she seems more in touch with her imagination and her creative side than many of the other characters—this means that Hannah is capable of changing her mind about things and broadening her perspective on life. In this way, Hannah comes to befriend Prior Walter, another openly gay man, in spite of her religious beliefs. In the play’s epilogue, we learn that Hannah is still spending time with Louis, Belize, and Prior five years after the events of the play, suggesting that she may have come around to the gay community after all.
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Hannah Pitt Character Timeline in Angels in America

The timeline below shows where the character Hannah Pitt appears in Angels in America. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Millennium Approaches: Act 2, Scene 8
The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
...Joe is drunkenly standing in a payphone near Central Park; on the other, Joe’s mother (Hannah Pitt) sits in her home in Salt Lake City. (full context)
The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
Joe calls his mother, and she asks, frightened, if he’s all right. Joe tells Hannah that he wants to “try something out” with her. Joe’s mother is amazed when he... (full context)
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
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The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
...but his mother doesn’t understand what this means. Joe asks if his father loved him. Hannah sternly tells Joe to go back to his home and call him from there. She... (full context)
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
Joe, now crying, tells his mother that he’s a homosexual. Hannah pauses, and then says that Joe’s father didn’t love him at all. She says that... (full context)
Millennium Approaches: Act 2, Scene 10
Prophets and Prophecies Theme Icon
The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
Joe’s mother, Hannah Pitt, walks around her house, accompanied by another woman. Hannah addresses this woman as her... (full context)
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
As Hannah talks about New York, Ella tells Hannah that Hannah is the only unfriendly Mormon she’s... (full context)
Millennium Approaches: Act 3, Scene 4
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Hannah Pitt walks through New York City, carrying her bags. She sees a homeless woman sitting... (full context)
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...begins yelling at herself, saying, “Shut up!” She then makes grotesque slurping noises, and tells Hannah a strange joke about the Polish. She asks Hannah if she’s heard of Nostradamus, the... (full context)
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The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
Hannah mentions that she’s trying to get to the Mormon Visitors’ Center in Manhattan. To her... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 1, Scene 4
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
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Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
Hannah Pitt enters Joe Pitt’s apartment, accompanied by Joe’s landlord. She’s just come from the Mormon... (full context)
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The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
Hannah learns from a police officer that Harper has been arrested in Prospect Park for stealing... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 1, Scene 7
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On one half of the stage, we’re in Joe’s apartment. There, Hannah stands with Harper. Harper babbles about Antarctica and her depression and her need to take... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 3, Scene 2
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...A sign announces that this is the Diorama Room of the Mormon Visitors’ Center, where Hannah volunteers. Harper sits in the room, eating candy and junk food. (The audience notices that... (full context)
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
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Hannah and Prior enter the scene together. Hannah goes to start the diorama (a moving theater... (full context)
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Hannah bursts into the room, and the lighting changes again—the diorama looks normal, and a regular... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 4, Scene 4
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
Fantasy, Escape, and Tragedy Theme Icon
We’re at the Mormon Visitors’ Center, and Joe is standing with Hannah, his mother. Joe tries to explain why he abandoned his wife, but Hannah refuses to... (full context)
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
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Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
Joe tells Hannah that he’s come to take Harper home. Hannah says this is a foolish idea—and anyway,... (full context)
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
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Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
After Joe leaves the Visitors’ Center, Prior walks in. He exclaims, “He’s a Mormon, too?” Hannah asks Prior if he knows Joe, and Prior nods. Hannah asks Prior other questions—if Prior... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 4, Scene 6
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Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
In a hospital, Prior is sitting with his nurse, Emily, and Hannah. Emily tells Prior that he’s losing weight fast—he needs to slow down and do breathing... (full context)
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
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Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
Fantasy, Escape, and Tragedy Theme Icon
The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
Emily leaves Prior with Hannah for a moment. Prior confesses to Hannah that he saw an angel—he’s afraid he might... (full context)
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
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Hannah tells Prior about the experience of finding out that Joe was gay. She finds homosexuality... (full context)
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Prior asks Hannah a question: can prophets refuse the missions God has given them? Hannah admits that there’s... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 5, Scene 1
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We return to the hospital, late at night. Prior wakes up to find Hannah sitting next to him. Prior tells Hannah that the Angel of America is nearby. There... (full context)
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Hannah tells Prior to wrestle the Angel and say, “I will not go except thee bless... (full context)
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The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
After Prior has climbed the ladder, the Angel of America turns to Hannah. Although Hannah is visibly frightened, the Angel begins to kiss her passionately. Hannah begins to... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 5, Scene 7
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The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
Prior finds himself lying in bed, surrounded by Belize, Emily, and Hannah. He tells his friends that he’s had a bizarre dream. Emily notes that Prior’s fever... (full context)
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Before Hannah can leave, Louis enters the room—he’s still horribly bruised from his fight with Joe. Hannah... (full context)
Epilogue
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It is 1990, and Prior, Louis, Belize, and Hannah sit by the Bethesda Fountain, talking about the recent fall of the Berlin Wall. Louis... (full context)
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...Cold War is over: Gorbachev has brought in a new era of Perestroika and peace. Hannah is more skeptical, however. She wonders what’s going to replace Communism in Yugoslavia and other... (full context)
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As Belize, Hannah, and Louis bicker, Prior stands up and addresses the audience directly. “This is my favorite... (full context)
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Louis tells Hannah and Belize that “big theories” aren’t big enough to encompass the whole world. Hannah disagrees—you... (full context)
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Prior asks Hannah to tell the audience about the Millennium. When the “true” Millennium comes—not just the year... (full context)