Angels in America

Angels in America


Tony Kushner

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Angels in America: Millennium Approaches: Act 3, Scene 3 Summary & Analysis

Harper stands in a strange, snow-covered place. She claims that she feels better than she has in a long time. The snow smells like peaches, and she can feel delicious ice crystals in her lungs. Mr. Lies appears on the stage, welcoming Harper to Antarctica, the “bottom of the world.” Harper loves her new home—she vows to make a new world for herself. “As long as it lasts,” Mr. Lies says—ice has a way of melting.
Now Harper seems trapped in her own delusions, showing how fantasy can be a prison as well as an escape. As Mr. Lies suggests, Harper can’t hide from her problems forever. The melting ice also references Harper’s preoccupation with the hole in the ozone layer—something that will eventually contribute to melting ice caps.
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Harper asks Mr. Lies if she’s attracted to him—she’s been craving male companionship for a long time. Mr. Lies reminds Harper, “This is a retreat.” Harper isn’t supposed to have feelings—she’s supposed to feel frozen and cold. Harper asks Mr. Lies if there are eskimos in Antarctica. Mr. Lies says that there aren’t, but as he says so, an eskimo appears on the stage. Mr. Lies reminds Harper that she was lying about being pregnant, but as he says this, Harper tells him she can feel her baby kicking inside her.
Harper is so confused that she doesn’t know why she’s experiencing this fantasy. She wants to hide from her problems and her feelings, but she also wants to feel new feelings—these are two fundamentally contradictory impulses. As Mr. Lies keeps saying, Harper can’t stay in this “limbo state” forever.
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