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. What metaphor does Sidney Poitier use to characterize the two American debates on life?

2. What event do the Kittredges have to attend in the morning?

3. Why does Flan need to call his lawyer at the end of this section?

4. In this section, Paul mentions attending a film festival with his father in what country?

5. In what city were the Kittredges living when they met Geoffrey?

Short Essay Questions

1. What story do Larkin and Kitty tell in this section?

2. Describe the humorous comparison Ouisa makes regarding Geoffrey's wealth.

3. How does Paul succeed in taking Rick and Elizabeth's money?

4. How does Ouisa lose Paul?

5. How does Paul view himself in terms of race in America?

6. What surprise do the Kittredges have speaking with Larkin and Kitty?

7. What conclusion do the five duped parents reach regarding what they have in common?

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

9. How has Paul's story changed in this section?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Paul's deceptions throughout the play are met with a combination of incredulity, rage, and sadness. Write an essay about the reaction characters have to Paul's crimes, in three parts:

Part 1) What does Dr. Fine think he is achieving in offering Paul the use of his brownstone? What emotions and social attitudes does the realization of Paul's betrayal evoke in Fine?

Part 2) Why does Flan react so vehemently against Paul and never waver thereafter? What does he think Paul's motivation is in lying to them?

Part 3) Why do the parents become obsessed with discovering the truth behind Paul's deception? Why do they go as far as publishing their story in the New York Times.

Essay Topic 2

The Kandinsky in the Kittredge condo is the central symbolic image of the play. Write an essay about the significance of this image. What theme do its opposite sides symbolize? How does the opposing control and wildness of the painting manifest itself in the action onstage? How do you interpret Paul's cryptic final words?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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