gender studies, queer theory, modern drama, american literature, dramatic criticism
Tony Kushner's two-part play Angels in America uses stereotypical depictions of gay men to deconstruct traditional gender dichotomies. In this thesis, I argue that Kushner has created a continuum of gender performativity to deconstruct these traditional gender dichotomies, thereby empowering the effeminate and disempowering the masculine. I closely examine Kushner's use of Brechtian and Aristotelian tenets in the first Broadway production of the play to demonstrate that Kushner sought to induce social awareness of gay male oppression, contingent on the audience's perception of Kushner's deconstruction of the traditional gender dichotomy. I also scrutinize the role of the closet and its implications in the play, primarily analyzed with Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's theoretical framework, suggesting Kushner's partiality to openly gay men who can actively participate in the cessation of gay male oppression.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Gorney, Allen, "Truly An Awesome Spectacle: Gender Performativity And The Alienation Effect In Angels In America" (2005). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 558.