Millennium Approaches 2.4

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Sitting in a fancy bar, Joe explains to Roy his marriage to Harper, as well as his spiritual struggles. Joe tells Roy that he feels responsible for Harper's emotional problems, but Roy still pushes him into taking the job in Washington. Then Roy brings up the subject of father-figures. Joe tells him that he did not have a good relationship with his - now deceased - father. Later, Roy reveals to Joe that he is dying of "cancer" (64).

Meanwhile, Louis is in the park, exchanging glances with a man. They talk dirty, but they have no place to go since Louis lives with Prior and the man lives with his parents. They begin to have sex but the man stops when the condom breaks. The man then says he wants to leave, at which Louis responds, "Give my best to mom and dad" (63). The man slaps him and leaves.


  • Walter Winchell (62) - an American newspaper and radio commentator who invented the gossip column at the New York Evening Graphic.
  • Joe McCarthy (62) - Joseph McCarthy, a Republican Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 to 1957. McCarthy is known for making freewheeling accusations of membership in the communist party or of communist sympathies. He appointed Roy as chief counsel.


Study Questions

  1. According to Joe, why does Harper take Valium?
  2. Why did Joe marry Harper?
  3. Who does Roy list as his father-figures?
  4. What kind of a relationship did Joe have with his father?
  5. What does Roy reveal to Joe near the end of the scene?
  6. Where are Louis and the man?
  7. Why can't they go to the man's place?
  8. Why do they stop having sex?
  9. What does Louis say to make the man slap him?

External Resources

Works Cited

  • Kushner, Tony. Angels in America. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1995.

In Vitro Act 2 Scene 5