AIDS Politics in American Drama

미국 극에 나타난 에이즈 정치학

  • Received : 2009.04.06
  • Accepted : 2009.04.26
  • Published : 2009.06.30


When AIDS evolved into a narrative, there were lots of mythologies on AIDS. Among them, the one that AIDS is a gay plague was accepted without any special rejection. Now AIDS is no longer a gay-related disease. At the beginning of the epidemic, however, AIDS was said to be a gay plague and gays were blamed for their life styles. Although AIDS was new, it had been in the mind of people. That is, the truths about AIDS were distorted and misunderstood. The social aspects of AIDS were based not on real scientific facts but on the prejudice and the practices which heterosexual society had invented for homosexuals. Here the AIDS crisis is said to be politicized. The socio-political responses to AIDS were effected by the dominance of Reaganism. So this paper investigates the effects of AIDS on the gay community and the reactions of the Reagan administration through analyzing ten American AIDS plays. Four issues are discussed to develop the paper's main idea: the meaning of AIDS, the past to be remembered, the new family system, and the indifference of President Reagan and the silence of media. AIDS means death; the relation between homosexuality and AIDS cannot be separated. Under these social circumstances AIDS becomes a symbol for moral corruption and the person with AIDS is thought to be punished. But a gay person can overcome the fear of death through regaining promiscuous sex and confirming his identity as a gay. Also to survive in the heterosexual society a gay has to make a new family system. Finally the indifference of the Reagan administration and the virtual silence of the media make the crisis more serious. In the conclusion homosexuals are compared to the Jewish people and the responsibility of gay community is also discussed. The important thing is that facing the AIDS crisis, the gay community has spiritually grown up.


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