Kushner discusses the complexity of the gay identity towards the closure of the 20th century and highlights how the emergence of HIV served to heighten the complexity. Moreover, the playwright uses the play to criticize the Reagan era politics. This paper will delve into the issues discussed and elaborate how Kushner addresses different themes in his play. An understanding of the playwright’s identity is critical in order to analyze why he chose to address the issues that he brings out in the play. Kushner admits that he harbored gay instincts since he was six, but the fact that he was homosexual eventually sank in at the age of eleven. The cultural setting and the societal resistance surrounding homosexuality compelled him to keep his identity closeted (Nielsen 5). Therefore, the playwright‘s identity proves his familiarity with the issues that he brought out in the play. Moreover, HIV/AIDS was prevalent among the gay people and was considered as a scourge for the gay only. Kushner experienced the political conditions that defined Reagan’s regime. The conclusion of the millennium brought along new realities such as the emergence of a gay community that existed in a closeted system, but later some members openly declared their sexual orientation before the public. The gay community faced rigid resistance from society for defying the societal norms outlined in the gender sexual roles. In his play, Kushner painted the picture of the experience of gay people. He introduces the reader into the realities surrounding a homosexually-oriented man. He developed his themes using a gay couple made up of Prior and Louis and a heterosexual couple made up of Harper and Joe Pitt. Other important characters supporting the themes are Roy, a lawyer, and Belize, an influential nurse. In part on of his play, the author introduced the sad reality that Prior, Louis’ Lover, contracted the human immune deficiency virus (HIV). From the start of the play, the playwright bombards the reader with the reality of the HIV scourge from the experience of Prior. The victim faces devastation because of the status and also abandonment by his lover (Bloom and Hobby 7). The decision of Louis to abandon his lover is a typical reaction exhibited by many people after the realization that their partners had contracted the virus. In addition, the playwright sought to enlighten society on the inner battle faced by homosexuals. Apparently, the rigid construct of the society did not present any opening for the gay community to exercise the civil rights that they demanded. In Kushner’s play, he presents two characters that preferred keeping their gay identity closed in fear of the inherent resistance from society and the association of the homosexual orientation with the deadly virus that ha just been described (Bloom and Hobby 10). Joe Pitt is a representative of the internal battle fought by individuals in their bid to analyze their sexual orientation and embrace it. Although married to Harper, Joe was living a lie because he had nurtured homosexual feelings for a long time. In fear of how society would perceive his identity, he opted to suppress such feelings and strived to express his heterosexual identity through his marriage to Harper. However, his encounter with Louis weeping over his lover’s condition, Joe got an opportunity to express what he thought was his real sexual orientation. He embarked on building a relationship with Louis that culminated into his full expression of his homosexual
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