A comparison of the two plays angels in america by tony kushner and jerker by Robert Chesley

Essay by rsato8College, UndergraduateA+, April 2004

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Jerker and Angels

With each day that goes by, homosexuality continues to gain more acceptance and exposure in society. Through the means of movies, books and plays, a homosexual lifestyle had been shown to society from many gay and non-gay writers. Although in both Jerker and Angels in America AIDS poses a restriction of a gay lifestyle, Jerker accomplishes this restriction by portraying the physical restriction of free love while Angels portrays this as the absence of a gay lifestyle in society. Each play is able to accomplish their individual portrayal of the restriction of a homosexual life through their storytelling means and style. The literary presentation also greatly has been influenced by the playwrights' lives.

As the each of the playwright's lives affected the individual messages of each of their plays, also the unique styles and storytelling methods in Angels in America and Jerker are able to further convey their separate messages of homosexuality.

With Jerker, Chesley prefaces the play as being "a pornographic elegy with redeeming social value and a hymn to the queer men of San Francisco in twenty phone calls, many of them dirty." In one sentence, Chesley is able to capture his intent of the play and state it to the reader. Chesley's Jerker takes the reader in on the life of the gay lifestyle of the "queer men of San Francisco" as he portrays two gay men having sexual telephone calls. However, Chesley also writes in his foreword that this play is a "hymn". AIDS has brought a halt and a restriction to free and anonymous love in the gay community. With the appearance and spread of AIDS, a gay lifestyle was severely halted as this infectious virus ran through and destroyed gay communities. Thus, Jerker serves as a "hymn" to the restricted and...