Angels In America Hold Button Analysis

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The Symbolic Meanings of the Hold Button While facing a life-threatening illness, one tries to hold on and tries to control things around them. This is very prevalent in Angels in America by Tony Kushner. The hold button that Roy uses contains a good deal of symbolism in regards to his control over his life, but also to his control over words and their meanings. Through this, one can see his continuing attempts to gain more control over his life as it is slipping away from him. Not only is Roy’s use of the hold button symbolic of his repressed gay identity, but it also enables him to assert his dominance and control over words, his fate, and others. Throughout the play, even if Roy doesn’t expressly use the word “hold,” but the meaning can…show more content…
A fucking-Hold”(255); this use of “hold” as his last line holds several meanings. The use of it represents him trying to keep hold of his life even at his last breath as well as trying to assert himself over Ethel and death in a way by dying on his own terms. Through the use of the hold button, he is again putting himself in power as he has none left and cheating death, or fate in a way, by putting his life on pause: he is disbarred and he is bedridden. The stage directions, “(Punching an imaginary button with his finger)”, revisits the beginning of the book when Roy dictated everything and when he was in his place of power. This reference (255) At Roy’s death, by him tricking Ethel into singing to him, this is his final example of making himself more powerful than Ethel who had been revisiting him to assert her own power over him and to challenge him in a way. “I just wanted to see if I could finally, finally make Ethel Rosenberg sing! I WIN!” (255) “I WIN!” clearly shows Roy’s hierarchy thinking as he declares himself the winner. Ethel could also represent death sort of as she is revisiting him from the dead to mock his powerlessness. Through being the winner from his view, he is cheating death by forcing death to do his bidding. Another symbolic moment when Roy presses the hold button in front of Ethel is that during the whole play, Ethel shows up when Roy is at his weakest; however, when Roy dies, he presses the hold button in front of her asserting himself over death and attempts to regain his power in front of Ethel. In conclusion, the hold button contains lots of symbolism as it shows how he tries to regain control over his life and even death. By asserting himself over others, Roy gains a sense of superiority that boots his ego even more. The hold button represents his hidden gay identity as he always cuts people off on his phone and he hold back and cuts off who he is and even denies it to
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