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Response to Angels in America Act 1: Scene 7

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Response to Angels in America Act: Act One, Scene Seven.

In scene seven, Prior and Harper share a “spiritual” moment as a dream for Prior and a hallucination for Harper. The scene serves to show us exactly how Prior is really handling his situation and allows Harper the realization that her husband is gay. The scene is also the first indication of the supernatural that we have in the play though it remains unexplained for now. Up until now Prior has seemed very accepting and light with Louis about his sickness and impending death, he seems to make light of it and joke about it like it doesn't bother him. In this scene we can see that there is more to it than Prior lets on as he sits at the makeup table lamenting how “one never gets what one wants” and how people “die at thirty, robbed of decades of majesty.” Prior is obviously in a down mood, but ends his monologue saying that he knows he's hit rock bottom when “even drag is a drag,” showing that he's so depressed that even his old passion isn't fun. Prior then shows up and neither person freaks out as they both realize that it is a dream, or hallucination in Harper's case. The conversation is very bleak, with Harper also speaking about hopelessness saying life is the “same old ordinariness and falseness rearranged into the appearance of novelty and truth.” The fantastical nature of the dream allows Harper to see that Prior is sick, which shocks him as he doesn't even know this woman. Harper explains that her hallucinations are the “very threshold of revelation” and invites Prior to try. After an unimpressive attempt, he flatly informs her that her husband is a “homo.” At first she rejects this, but then realizes that it is true and seems very sad. Prior tries to comfort her but she says she has to go, saying that “something just fell apart,” talking about her relationship with Joe. Harper then disappears and Prior has his first interaction with The Voice which is also our first indication of the spiritual/supernatural world in the play though at this point we do not yet realize the extent. This scene provided some insight into Prior's and Harper's characters and also a bit into Harper's addiction. The dream also allows Harper and Prior to interact when they normally wouldn't meet in real life so that Harper can have the revelation that her husband is a homosexual as was suggested, among other hints, by his earlier by his flirty scene with Louis.

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