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Angels in America

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

there are no gods here, no ghosts and spirits in America, there are no angels in America, no spiritual past, no racial past, there's only the political, and the decoys and the ploys to maneuver around the inescapable battle of politics

Louis's comical monologue in Act Three, Scene Two of Millennium concludes with the quotation above—immediately afterward he is interrupted by Belize. He contends that because of the nation's newness and its recent settlement (except for the Indians, as he admits), America is less racially polarized than Europe, more centered on political debate. But he is wrong, as Belize deftly proves and as the play re-confirms. In calling attention to this passage the play's title refutes it—there is very much an Angel in America, one who is in fact the Angel of America. Politics is critically important, but it must be informed by history and identity. By deflating Louis's secular claim, Kushner seems to be connecting his populist optimism with a sense of spirituality. The America the characters are striving for is as transcendent as it is democratic.