Six Degrees of Separation Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In what country does Paul say he grew up?

2. What negative world does Ouisa repeat over and over throughout the first couple minutes of the play?

3. Which hotel is Poitier checking into in the morning, according to Paul?

4. Which of the following is not a reason Flan lists for his clients wanting to deal with him instead of a gallery?

5. What career did Flan used to hold?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Flan in awe of his children's second grade teacher?

2. How is Geoffrey's financial situation strange?

3. How does Paul describe his father in this section?

4. Why does Geoffrey call at the end of this section?

5. What does Paul say happened to him in the Park?

6. What is Ouisa's essential fear about the fate of Paul of the play?

7. What is the meaning of the title of the play?

8. Describe the dish that Paul prepares.

9. What does Sidney Poitier say to Ouisa in her dream?

10. How do the Kittredges conspire to find Paul at the end of this section?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The story of Six Degrees of Separation is related to the audience int he manner of a cocktail party anecdote. Write an essay on the role of the anecdote throughout the play:

Part 1) How is the story of the Kittredges' night with Geoffrey the central anecdote of the play? To what extent does the rest of the play stem from Ouisa and Flan's attempt to fully explain this anecdote?

Part 2) The story of Rick's suicide is the one major anecdote of the play not related by the Kittredges. How do Kitty and Larkin frame the story of this most harrowing of plot points? In what way does the anecdote intentionally fall flat at the end?

Part 3) What is Ouisa's complaint about the anecdote at the end of the play? How has she reached a point in her life where the anecdote is a sickening item to her? To what extent does she reject the frame of the play at the end?

Essay Topic 2

Throughout the play, Paul is something of a sounding board for other people's sense of self. He allows them to see themselves in a better, more idealistic light. Write an essay on Paul's positive interaction with others in three parts:

Part 1) Dr. Fine reconnects with his family and his sense of social good in his meeting with Paul. How does Paul make this possible? How long does this idealism last in the doctor?

Part 2) What is Geoffrey's set understanding of the way of the world at the beginning of the play? How does Paul's visit reinforce Geoffrey's better angels and challenge his sense of complacency?

Part 3) Ouisa is perhaps the most profoundly changed by Paul. In what ways does her one night with him alter her sense of the world? How is she shaken and left discontent by their connection?

Essay Topic 3

Ouisa Kittredge emerges as the protagonist of the play by the end. Write an essay analyzing the plot of Guare's play as a personal journey for Ouisa. What does she discover in her evening with Paul? Why is she so driven to find out his origins and where he is, and how does this drive bring her to promise extravagant things to him over the phone? What is Ouisa's state of mind at the end of the play?

(see the answer keys)

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