Angels in America

Angels in America

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Angels in America Perestroika: Act 4, Scene 3 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
We’re at the Bethesda Fountain—the huge angel statue in Central Park. Belize stands with Louis, and Louis notes that the fountain is Prior’s favorite place in the park. Louis asks Belize how Prior is doing, and Belize says that he is taking 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, whom he calls “the polestar of human evil.”
The plot is tightening quickly—Louis knew that Joe was conservative, but he had no idea that Joe was a friend of Roy Cohn. This lack of knowledge between the two men seems to make their relationship even more tenuous.
Themes
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
Prophets and Prophecies Theme Icon
Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
Fantasy, Escape, and Tragedy Theme Icon
The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon
Belize begins to walk out. Louis shouts that Belize is just jealous of Louis for stealing Prior away from him. Louis then screams that he hates himself, and begins to cry. Belize tells Louis what his problem is: he’s full of shit. Louis thinks about big ideas too much, like America and angels—Belize, on the other hands, hates these big ideas, which are always out of reach of human beings. Belize also says that he’s never been in love with Prior, and has “a man uptown,” anyway. On this note, Belize leaves Louis.
Belize has already voiced his opposition to the notion of “big ideas”—he finds them repressive, inhuman, and disconnected from reality. For this reason, Belize finds fault in Louis’s worldview—Louis is too eager to talk about abstract topics, and as a result Louis loses sight of real people, such as Belize himself.
Themes
Homosexuality in the AIDS Era Theme Icon
Prophets and Prophecies Theme Icon
Progressivism, Conservatism, and Change Theme Icon
Fantasy, Escape, and Tragedy Theme Icon
The Clash between People and Principles Theme Icon