One of the central themes of Angels in America is about change and how it affects people.
Harper Pitt is a Valium-addicted agoraphobic who’s trapped in a failing marriage. To escape her troubles, she hallucinates and invents imaginary characters. Ever fearful, Harper obsesses about knife-wielding men and the ozone layer as a subconscious stand-in for her own difficulties. However, through an inexplicable dream, she learns that her husband is gay and begins to take control of her own destiny. Of all the major characters in the play, Harper ended her act the farthest from where she started: as an independent, confident woman newly in love with life and setting off to build her own life.
In Act Three Scene Five of Perestroika, Harper asked a question to the Mormon mother, “In your experience of the world, how do people change?” The Mormon mother answered her question thru searing and painfully intense words. “God splits the skin with a jagged thumbnail from throat to belly and then plunges a huge filthy hand in, he grabs hold of your bloody tubes and they slip to evade his grasp but he squeezes hard, he insists, he pulls and pulls till all your innards are yanked out and the pain! We can't even talk about that.”
She used these words to describe change as something painful and destructive. As what the Angel said, man’s constant motion and change have driven God to abandon creation. “Well it has something to do with God so it's not very nice.” Change is never easy to deal with. Some are against it that they would rather remain in stasis. However, the Mormon mother also pointed out that change is inevitable. It is a process that cannot be avoided rather it must be endured. The point is not how people should change but how they must live their lives afterwards. “It's up to you to do the stitching.”
“And then he stuffs them back, dirty, tangled and torn.” In change, nothing is taken away or added. People does not miraculously transform out of nothing or from without. What people must do is to make the most of what they are born with, rearranged and restitched, but still very much intact.
“Just mangled guts pretending.”
You breakdown and cry, but you can’t stay in despair for the rest of your life. You stumble, but you need to stand up regardless how painful the wounds it may have caused you.
Stop for a while, cry, let it pour, and feel the pain. But remember to take a deep breath after doing so. The world won’t stop to sympathize with you. People are so damn busy with their own biddings they will never look back at you. Even those who might have hurt you will keep on laughing out loud enjoying what they have, while you’re all alone doing your best to go back on your feet. It’s all up to you and you alone.
Just keep moving. If it feels so heavy in every step, then it means you have to leave some of your baggage behind. Free yourself from the burden of your past, and live in the present. Your scars will become a symbol of courage. To remind you that in every downfall, you have managed to stand up with dignity and that you have learned from the experience. Remain intact...put yourself together.
Change starts when you decide. You know deep inside you, you’ll going to win this race if you will just keep on moving.
- Keep Moving! by Eben, written on March 19, 2008