Angels in America

Angels in America

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Joe Pitt is another character who could be considered the protagonist of Angels in America. As the play begins, Joe is a successful law clerk, mentored by the legendary conservative attorney Roy Cohn. Despite a promising career, Joe—a devout Mormon—has frequent arguments with his unstable wife, Harper Pitt. As the play goes on, Joe begins to reject the instructions of Roy Cohn, a mentor whom he increasingly comes to see as corrupt and cruel. More seriously, Joe comes to realize that he’s either gay or bisexual—a realization that prompts Harper to abandon him. Throughout the play, Joe struggles to reconcile his natural sexual attraction to men with his strong beliefs, both in the Mormon religion and the Republican ideology. In the end, his beliefs are rather unclear—it’s not revealed whether Joe comes out to his conservative colleagues or remains “in the closet.” In its very indeterminateness, Joe’s internal struggle illustrates the experience of many homosexuals in the age of AIDS, without ever suggesting how closeted homosexuals should behave.

Joe Pitt Quotes in Angels in America

The Angels in America quotes below are all either spoken by Joe Pitt or refer to Joe Pitt . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Theatre Communications Group edition of Angels in America published in 2013.
Millennium Approaches: Act 1, Scene 3 Quotes

Harper Pitt: I'm undecided. I feel . . . that something's going to give. It's 1985. Fifteen years till the third millennium. Maybe Christ will come again. Maybe seeds will be planted, maybe there'll be harvests then, maybe early figs to eat, maybe new life, maybe fresh blood, maybe companionship and love and protection, safety from what's outside, maybe the door will hold, or maybe . . . Maybe the troubles will come, and the end will come, and the sky will collapse and there will be terrible rains and showers of poison light, or maybe my life is really fine, maybe Joe loves me and I'm only crazy thinking otherwise, or maybe not, maybe it's even worse than I know, maybe . . . I want to know, maybe I don't. The suspense, Mr. Lies, it's killing me.
Mr. Lies: I suggest a vacation.

Related Characters: Harper Pitt (speaker), Mr. Lies (speaker), Joe Pitt
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

Here we're introduced to Harper Pitt, the frustrated Mormon housewife who spends most of her day high on Valium. Although Harper isn't exactly a model human being, she brings up one of the most important themes of the play. Harper has a constant sense that something important is about to happen: it's almost the year 2000, and it seems reasonable to think that some major event is going to occur as the millennium approaches.

Harper's belief that "something is going to happen" has an obvious religious flavor--she frames her belief in traditional Christian terms. Her naive optimism is both admirable and strangely pathetic--it's as if by focusing so exclusively on the future, Harper is turning her back on the "here and now." And as Mr. Lies--the imaginary character Harper sees when she takes too many pills--implies, Harper's desire for a second coming is a kind of "vacation" from the real world. Harper fantasizes about the future so that she doesn't have to face the consequences of her actions in the present.

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Millennium Approaches: Act 1, Scene 5 Quotes

The truth restored. Law restored. That's what President Reagan's done, Harper. He says: "Truth exists and can be spoken proudly."

Related Characters: Joe Pitt (speaker), Harper Pitt , Ronald Reagan
Page Number: 26
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Joe Pitt interacts with his wife, Harper Pitt. Joe is a Mormon and a closeted homosexual, but he's also a loyal Republican and a disciple of Ronald Reagan, the current president of the United States. As Joe tells Harper about his admiration for Reagan, his words take on an ironical, messianic fervor: it's as if Joe believes Reagan to be the embodiment of the second coming.

Joe's faith in Reagan might seem absurd, and yet Joe speaks for many during the Reagan years who saw the president as the savior of the United States. Reagan framed his presidency in terms of "traditional moral values"--thus, for many, especially conservatives and Christians, Reagan was returning America to its utopian past.

There's an interesting contradiction in Joe's speech: he conceives of Reagan as a prophet, bringing America into the future. And yet Reagan himself claimed to do just the opposite, bringing America back into its (supposedly) glorious past. Such contradictions seem to illustrate some of the flaws in Reagan's presidency--the way he claimed to speak for the Americans of the 1980s (including immigrants, homosexuals, etc.), and yet really only acted on behalf of white, straight, Christian Americans.

Millennium Approaches: Act 1, Scene 8 Quotes

Harper Pitt: I'm going to have a baby.
Joe Pitt: Liar.
Harper Pitt: You liar. A baby born addicted to pills. A baby who does not dream but who hallucinates, who stares up at us with big mirror eyes and who does not know who we are.
Joe Pitt: Are you really ... ?
Harper Pitt: No. Yes. No. Yes. Get away from me. Now we both have a secret.

Related Characters: Joe Pitt (speaker), Harper Pitt (speaker)
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Joe has a fight with his wife, Harper. Joe and Harper have been trying to have a child for some time now, and they've failed--in part because Joe is gay, and so doesn't want to have sex with Harper, and in part because Harper seems not to want a child. Here Harper claims that she's pregnant, then contradicts herself again and again--still clearly living half in the world of fantasy, and half in reality.

The exchange between Joe and Harper might symbolize the state of American society during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. For many, AIDS threatened the continued survival of the human race--the untreatable disease could wipe out America. And for many in the gay community, AIDS only reinforced familiar themes of survival and reproduction, since homosexual couples couldn't have children. For the gay community, and America as a whole, AIDS prompted a lot of questions--What will happen after we die?; will our community survive, or will it disappear forever? Harper's ambiguous answer to such a question (Yes. No. Yes.) reflects the grim uncertainty of American society at the time.

Millennium Approaches: Act 2, Scene 2 Quotes

In the whole entire world, you are the only person, the only person I love or have ever loved. And I love you terribly. Terribly. That's what's so awfully, irreducibly real. I can make up anything but I can't dream that away.

Related Characters: Harper Pitt (speaker), Joe Pitt
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Harper Pitt tells Joe that she's leaving him. Harper seems to sense that Joe is gay, and definitely senses that Joe doesn't really love her romantically. And yet Harper continues to love Joe--indeed, Joe was the only person she ever really loved.

In many ways, the passage is a critique of the culture that would lead a homosexual man like Joe to pretend to be heterosexual. Joe has spent most of his life deluding himself into believing that he's straight--in the process, causing misery to many, including Harper. And yet Joe isn't to blame for Harper's misery--he, too, is a victim of the heteronormative culture that forces gays to stay in the closet, and so the person being caused the most misery is arguably Joe himself.

The passage also reinforces the relationship between dreams and reality. Dreams aren't really an escape from the real world at all--on the contrary, dreams just intensify the joys and pains of reality. Thus, Harper's dreams aren't a source of solace for her--whether she's awake or not, she's conscious that Joe doesn't love her, but she loves Joe.

Millennium Approaches: Act 3, Scene 5 Quotes

Yes. Yes. You have heard of Ethel Rosenberg. Yes. Maybe you even read about her in the history books. If it wasn't for me, Joe, Ethel Rosenberg would be alive today, writing some personal-advice column for Ms. magazine. She isn't. Because during the trial, Joe, I was on the phone every day, talking with the judge— Every day, doing what I do best, talking on the telephone, making sure that timid Yid nebbish on the bench did his duty to America, to history. That sweet unprepossessing woman, two kids, boo-hoo-hoo, reminded us all of our little Jewish mamas—she came this close to getting life; I pleaded till I wept to put her in the chair. Me. I did that. I would have fucking pulled the switch if they'd have let me. Why? Because I fucking hate traitors. Because I fucking hate communists. Was it legal? Fuck legal. Am I a nice man? Fuck nice. They say terrible things about me in the Nation. Fuck the Nation. You want to be Nice, or you want to be Effective? Make the law, or subject to it. Choose.

Related Characters: Roy Cohn (speaker), Joe Pitt , Ethel Rosenberg
Page Number: 113-114
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Roy Cohn reveals the truth about his career. As a young man, Cohn was instrumental int he execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg--the two Soviet spies who were executed for supposedly stealing American secrets about nuclear technology. Cohn conspired with the judge to ensure that the Rosenbergs would be sentenced to death for their actions (the only time in American history that spies were executed during peacetime).

Cohn's pronouncement is devastating for Joe, to whom Cohn is speaking. Joe has always thought of Cohn as a hero--the very embodiment of Joe's faith in law, justice, and traditional moral values. Now, Joe sees that Cohn isn't anything of the kind: he's an immoral, bloodthirsty man who's perfectly willing to break the law to ensure the death of a mother of two children (whose guilt was in question in the first place). As a supposed defender of family values and wholesome conservatism, Cohn instead shows himself to be morally bankrupt.

Millennium Approaches: Act 3, Scene 7 Quotes

I think, if you touch me, your hand might fall off or something. Worse things have happened to people who have touched me.

Related Characters: Louis Ironson (speaker), Joe Pitt
Page Number: 122
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene, Joe and Louis tentatively begin a relationship. Joe has spent his entire life in the closet, despite the fact that he feels gay desires. Louis is more open about his homosexuality, but he's clearly wracked with guilt at having abandoned his boyfriend, Prior Walter, after Prior was diagnosed with AIDS. We can see Louis's guilt as he warns Joe about touching him. The last person to "touch" Louis was Prior--who's been diagnosed with AIDS and abandoned by his friends and family.

The irony of the passage is that Louis is behaving like an AIDS patient, despite the fact that he doesn't have AIDS at all. It's as if Louis is blaming himself for Prior's having contracted the AIDS virus. Louis seems to think of his own selfishness as a hideous disease--a more dangerous, toxic disease than AIDS itself. Louis is attracted to Joe, but on some level, he thinks that he doesn't deserve to begin a relationship with Joe--he knows he's not strong enough to stand by his boyfriend's side.

Perestroika: Act 4, Scene 2 Quotes

PRIOR: I have a hobby now: haunting people. Fuck home. You wait here. I want to meet my replacement.
(Prior goes to Joe's door, opens it, steps in.)
Oh.
JOE: Yes, can I—
PRIOR: You look just like the dummy. She's right.
JOE: Who's right?
PRIOR: Your wife.
(Pause.)
JOE: What?
Do you know my—
PRIOR: NO.
JOE: You said my wife.
PRIOR: No I didn't.
JOE: Yes you did.
PRIOR: You misheard. I'm a Prophet.
JOE: What?
PRIOR: PROPHET PROPHET I PROPHESY I HAVE SIGHT I SEE.
What do you do?
JOE: I'm a clerk.
PRIOR: Oh big deal. A clerk. You what, you file things? Well you better be keeping a file on the hearts you break, that's all that counts in the end, you'll have bills to pay in the world to come, you and your friend, the Whore of Babylon.
(Little pause)
Sorry wrong room.

Related Characters: Prior Walter (speaker), Joe Pitt (speaker)
Page Number: 224-225
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Prior Walter tracks down Joe, the man with whom Louis has been conducting an affair after leaving Prior. Prior is understandably upset to be meeting his "replacement"--the fact that Louis has left him for a healthier, AIDS-free man just reinforces the fact that Prior doesn't have much longer to live.

The passage also emphasizes the connection between Prior's visions of the Angel of America and his relationship with Louis. As Belize has already pointed out, Prior seems to be imagining the Angel as a way of reconciling with Louis. As Belize suspected, Prior seems to be using his visions as a way of condemning Joe (he even calls Joe a "whore of Babylon," a reference to the Biblical embodiment of sin and sexuality), however clumsily. The scene--like so much of the play--is both tragic and comic: Prior's line, "Sorry, wrong room," is like the punchline of a joke, and yet the passage's message is deadly serious.

Perestroika: Act 5, Scene 8 Quotes

I want the credit card. That's all. You can keep track of me from where the charges come from. If you want to keep track. I don't care.

Related Characters: Harper Pitt (speaker), Joe Pitt
Page Number: 282
Explanation and Analysis:

At the end of the play, Harper finally summons the courage to walk out on Joe Pitt, her mostly-closeted gay husband. She's suspected that Joe is gay for some time now, but the strength of her convictions--not to mention her love, and her fear of change--has kept her from leaving him behind. Now, however, Harper is ready to make a change in her life. Unlike many of the other great "changes" in the play, Harper's decision to abandon Joe isn't part of any lofty plan--she has no idea what's going to happen to her now.

Harper greedily asks Joe for his credit cards, however--proof that she's not entirely ready to live on her own. Evidently, Kushner doesn't try to glorify Harper's decision--she's brave, but not perfect.

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Joe Pitt Character Timeline in Angels in America

The timeline below shows where the character Joe Pitt appears in Angels in America. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Millennium Approaches: Act 1, Scene 2
Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
...lawyer named Roy Cohn sits in his legal office with a young aspiring lawyer named Joe Pitt. Joe Pitt sits uncomfortably while Roy Cohn takes a series of phone calls. Cohn... (full context)
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
Cohn next takes a phone call from a judge’s wife—he tells Joe Pitt that the judge is a “geek” and a Nixon appointee. Cohn arranges theater tickets... (full context)
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
In between calls, Cohn asks Joe how he likes the appeals court. Joe says he enjoys the responsibility. Cohn yells at... (full context)
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
Cohn offers Joe Pitt a “big” job in the Justice Department in Washington D.C. Joe is stunned—he tells... (full context)
Millennium Approaches: Act 1, Scene 3
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Joe Pitt’s wife, Harper, sits in her apartment, talking to herself. She takes some pills and... (full context)
Prophets and Prophecies Theme Icon
Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
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Harper complains that Joe, her husband, “stays away,” and Mr. Lies advises her to keep moving. Harper wonders if... (full context)
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Suddenly, Mr. Lies vanishes, and Joe Pitt walks into the apartment—he’s early, Harper points out. Abruptly, Joe asks Harper if she’d... (full context)
Millennium Approaches: Act 1, Scene 5
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Back in their apartment, Harper is telling Joe Pitt that she’s not sure if she wants to go to Washington D.C. Joe is... (full context)
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Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
...she’s afraid to go in the bedroom alone, and she can only walk inside when Joe is with her. She compares their apartment with the apartment from the movie Rosemary’s Baby.... (full context)
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Back in the apartment, Joe Pitt tells Harper that things are changing in the U.S.—President Ronald Reagan has inspired people... (full context)
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Joe tries to apologize to Harper. Harper tells him that she’s been researching how to give... (full context)
Millennium Approaches: Act 1, Scene 6
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A short time later, Joe Pitt is working at his legal office. He walks into the bathroom and comes across... (full context)
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Louis explains that he has a sick friend, and he adds that Joe’s other friends, whom he calls “Reaganite heartless assholes,” have ignored him. Joe claims that he... (full context)
Millennium Approaches: Act 1, Scene 8
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Joe Pitt comes home to his apartment, where he finds Harper waiting for him. Harper asks,... (full context)
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Joe angrily asks Harper if there’s something she wants to ask him, but Harper replies, “Tell... (full context)
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Harper asks Joe, “Are you a homo?” She threatens to burn their apartment to the ground if Joe... (full context)
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Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
Back in the Pitts’ apartment, Joe tells Harper that it’s time to pray. Harper asks God if her husband is gay,... (full context)
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Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
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Harper tells Joe that she’s going to have a baby—a baby who’ll turn out just like her. Joe... (full context)
Millennium Approaches: Act 2, Scene 2
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Joe Pitt walks into his apartment and finds Harper sitting on the couch in the dark.... (full context)
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Harper asks Joe what he’s been praying for, and Joe explains that he wants God to crush him... (full context)
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Harper tells Joe, “You are the only person I’ve ever loved.” Then, she tells Joe that he should... (full context)
Millennium Approaches: Act 2, Scene 4
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Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
Joe Pitt and Roy Cohn sit in a bar. Joe, totally sober, explains that Harper, his... (full context)
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Abruptly, Joe apologizes to Cohn for opening up about his personal life. Cohn puts his hand on... (full context)
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In the bar, Cohn tells Joe about his long career as a lawyer, working for Joseph McCarthy. He describes his relationship... (full context)
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The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
Cohn and Joe leave the bar. As they walk outside, Cohn gives Joe some startling news: he’s dying... (full context)
Millennium Approaches: Act 2, Scene 6
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
Prophets and Prophecies Theme Icon
Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
...Cohn sits in a restaurant with Martin Heller, Cohn’s friend in the Justice Department, and Joe Pitt. Martin claims that by the 90s, there will be so many Republicans on the... (full context)
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
Prophets and Prophecies Theme Icon
...“darling.” Martin obliges, saying that Cohn is a “saint of conservatism.” Cohn tells Martin about Joe’s wife—the reason that Joe is reluctant to go to Washington D.C. Martin urges Joe to... (full context)
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
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Cohn shows Joe a legal document, explaining that his colleagues are going to try to disbar Cohn for... (full context)
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Joe is disturbed by what Cohn is suggesting—he claims that it would be illegal and unethical... (full context)
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Martin Heller returns to the table, and Joe tells Cohn that he’ll “think about” Cohn’s plan. Martin tells Joe, “You can almost always... (full context)
Millennium Approaches: Act 2, Scene 7
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
Louis sits outside the courthouse where he works, eating his lunch. As he sits, Joe Pitt joins him. Joe asks Louis about his sick “friend” (whom we recognize as Prior),... (full context)
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Louis talks about Ronald Reagan, and suggests that Ron Reagan Jr. is homosexual. Joe tells Louis that he shouldn’t make these assumptions. Louis explains that it must be hard... (full context)
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Louis gets up to go back inside, but Joe stops him. He explains that yesterday—a Sunday—he went in to work, foolishly thinking that it... (full context)
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Joe tells Louis that he can’t force himself to go back into the courthouse that day.... (full context)
Millennium Approaches: Act 2, Scene 8
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It’s late at night, and the stage is divided in half. On one side, Joe is drunkenly standing in a payphone near Central Park; on the other, Joe’s mother (Hannah... (full context)
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Joe calls his mother, and she asks, frightened, if he’s all right. Joe tells Hannah that... (full context)
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Joe tells his mother, “I come here to watch,” but his mother doesn’t understand what this... (full context)
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Joe, now crying, tells his mother that he’s a homosexual. Hannah pauses, and then says that... (full context)
Millennium Approaches: Act 2, Scene 9
Prophets and Prophecies Theme Icon
Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
...one half, Prior sits in the hospital. Louis enters the room. On the other half, Joe enters his apartment, where he finds Harper waiting for him. (full context)
Prophets and Prophecies Theme Icon
Fantasy, Escape, and Tragedy Theme Icon
...tells Prior that he’s moving out of their apartment. “The fuck you are,” Prior answers. Joe tells Harper that he still loves her, but he can’t stay in a relationship with... (full context)
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Joe tells Harper that he’s known about “this” for his entire life—he tried to change himself,... (full context)
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Joe admits that he has no sexual feelings for Harper. Harper tells Joe to go to... (full context)
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Joe tells Harper that she’s suffered from hallucinations for her entire life—hallucinations of a dangerous man... (full context)
Millennium Approaches: Act 2, Scene 10
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Joe’s mother, Hannah Pitt, walks around her house, accompanied by another woman. Hannah addresses this woman... (full context)
Millennium Approaches: Act 3, Scene 4
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
...Lake City, and is trying to find Pineapple Street, Brooklyn. Hannah says that her son, Joe, was supposed to pick her up from the airport, but he didn’t show up. The... (full context)
Millennium Approaches: Act 3, Scene 5
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At Roy Cohn’s house, Joe tells Cohn that he can’t go to Washington D.C.—he has to find his missing wife.... (full context)
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Cohn, who seems very drunk, tells Joe that he’s a “dumb Utah hick” for turning down the Washington offer. Cohn tells Joe,... (full context)
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Cohn calls Joe a sissy. He keeps talking, very drunk and interrupting Joe. Cohn claims that his greatest... (full context)
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Joe is shaken by Cohn’s claims, and he even suggests that Cohn could be guilty of... (full context)
Millennium Approaches: Act 3, Scene 7
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On the other side of the stage, Joe walks through Central Park. He sees Louis, sitting alone on a park bench. Joe asks... (full context)
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Slowly, Joe touched Louis’s lips, whispering, “I’m going to hell for doing this.” Louis shrugs and leads... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 1, Scene 2
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Louis leads Joe Pitt into his apartment—continuing the final scene of Part One. Joe tells Louis that he’s... (full context)
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Louis and Joe begin to kiss. Then Joe breaks away, insisting that he has to go. But Louis... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 1, Scene 3
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As Harper and Mr. Lies talk, Joe Pitt approaches them, claiming that he’s been looking all over for Harper. Harper asks Joe... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 1, Scene 4
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Hannah Pitt enters Joe Pitt’s apartment, accompanied by Joe’s landlord. She’s just come from the Mormon Visitors’ Center, and... (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... (full context)
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On the other half of the stage, Louis and Joe lie in bed together in Louis’s apartment. Louis challenges Joe on his politics—how is it... (full context)
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Louis and Joe fall asleep slowly. Louis tells Joe that he’s been feeling guilty for causing someone he... (full context)
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Louis wakes up, having heard Joe talking to “Harper.” Louis tells Joe that he dreamed that Joe was a member of... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 3, Scene 2
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...junk food. (The audience notices that one of the mannequins in the diorama is really Joe). (full context)
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...dream in Part One). Harper points out the mannequin and notes that it looks like Joe, her husband. (full context)
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...Father, a Mormon Mother, a Mormon Son, and a Mormon Daughter. The mannequin that resembles Joe tells his “family” to be strong and courageous as they wander across America toward Zion.... (full context)
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
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...Prior and Harper looking at the stage. On the stage, however, we see Louis and Joe, arguing about Mormonism. Louis asks Joe how it’s possible for Mormons to live in a... (full context)
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...and Louis hears Prior’s voice, but says that he can’t see Prior anywhere. Louis tells Joe that he needs to tell Joe about something. Prior weeps as he watches all this. (full context)
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...room, and the lighting changes again—the diorama looks normal, and a regular mannequin has replaced Joe. Hannah criticizes Harper for being obnoxious, and suggests that Prior leave the room while she... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 3, Scene 3
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Louis and Joe walk along the beach. Louis wonders aloud what he’s doing with Joe—a married, Mormon Republican.... (full context)
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Joe tells Louis that Louis is a good man, whom he admires deeply. Louis shakes his... (full context)
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Joe seems heartbroken by Louis’s need to see Prior. He tells Louis that he’ll do anything... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 3, Scene 5
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...Mother from the diorama are walking through Brooklyn Heights, but everyone from the previous scene (Joe, Louis, Cohn, Belize, and Ethel Rosenberg) is still onstage. The Mormon Mother points out the... (full context)
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...half of the stage, Prior walks into his apartment. The Mormon Mother tells Harper that Joe will return to Harper soon. (full context)
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Another part of the stage lights up: it’s Louis, standing with Joe on the beach. Louis walks away from Joe, to a phone booth. He calls Prior,... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 4, Scene 1
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Roy Cohn sits in his hospital bed, Joe Pitt standing over him. Cohn claims that he represents “the heart of modern conservatism.” He... (full context)
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Joe confesses that he was afraid that Cohn would be angry with him for turning down... (full context)
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Cohn asks Joe if Joe’s father ever gave him a blessing, and Joe says no. Cohn remembers a... (full context)
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Joe tells Cohn the truth: he’s abandoned his wife to live with another man. Suddenly, Cohn... (full context)
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Belize rushes into the room and pulls Cohn off Joe. He instructs Joe to throw away his bloody shirt, and not touch the blood. Cohn... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 4, Scene 2
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Prior and Belize stand in Joe Pitt’s office building. Belize suggests that they leave, but Prior tells Belize to leave if... (full context)
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While Belize waits outside, Prior confronts Joe. He tells Joe, “I’m a prophet.” Joe is confused, but Prior continues to talk. He... (full context)
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Joe rushes outside, where he finds Prior and Belize. Joe immediately recognizes Belize as Cohn’s nurse—something... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 4, Scene 3
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...care of Prior. Belize tells Louis that he’s unimpressed with Louis—he’s been hanging out with Joe, Roy Cohn’s gay lover. Louis is shocked. He had no idea that Joe knew Cohn,... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 4, Scene 4
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We’re at the Mormon Visitors’ Center, and Joe is standing with Hannah, his mother. Joe tries to explain why he abandoned his wife,... (full context)
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Joe tells Hannah that he’s come to take Harper home. Hannah says this is a foolish... (full context)
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After Joe leaves the Visitors’ Center, Prior walks in. He exclaims, “He’s a Mormon, too?” Hannah asks... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 4, Scene 5
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...on a harbor. Harper walks along the harbor, barefoot and dressed in a frail-looking blouse. Joe enters the scene. He asks Harper, gently, where her shoes have gone. Harper answers that... (full context)
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Joe tells Harper that he’s come back for her. Harper doesn’t answer. Then she says, “Let’s... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 4, Scene 6
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Hannah tells Prior about the experience of finding out that Joe was gay. She finds homosexuality odd and awkward—men are ugly enough as is, she says,... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 4, Scene 7
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The scene opens with Joe having sex with Harper in their apartment. After they’re finished, Harper asks Joe why he... (full context)
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Joe gets up and tells her that he needs to go and take care of some... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 4, Scene 8
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We’re in Louis’s apartment. Louis opens the door and lets Joe inside. Louis, who seems cold and distant, is surrounded by a stack of papers. He... (full context)
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Louis explodes that he’s been researching Joe’s court decisions during the Reagan years. Louis finds these decisions barbaric. They’ve been used to... (full context)
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Louis tells Joe that his “Have you no sense of decency?” quote comes from Joseph N. Welch, the... (full context)
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Joe stands over Louis, horrified with what he’s just done. He asks Louis if he’s all... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 5, Scene 4
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Joe sits in his apartment late at night. He calls Harper on the phone, but doesn’t... (full context)
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Joe angrily attacks Cohn for lying about his AIDS. Cohn shrugs and brings up the fact... (full context)
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Harper enters the apartment. Joe is amazed to see that his wife has come back. He asks where she’s been,... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 5, Scene 7
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Before Hannah can leave, Louis enters the room—he’s still horribly bruised from his fight with Joe. Hannah pushes past Louis, and Prior calls to her, “I have always depended on the... (full context)
Perestroika: Act 5, Scene 8
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We’re in Joe’s apartment. Harper carries a big suitcase while Joe sits in his chair—it seems that Harper’s... (full context)
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Reluctantly, Joe hands Harper his credit card. Harper accepts it, and tells Joe that he’ll never hear... (full context)