Six Degrees of Separation Test | Final Test - Hard

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the following items is not something Paul asks Ouisa to send him in prison?

2. Which of the following is not a college that Paul lists Flan's "new" children attending?

3. In this section Paul admits that his Salinger speech was lifted from a commencement address at what college?

4. In the second excerpt from This Life that the parents read, what does Poitier warn his readers against doing regarding their children?

5. Who spits on Flan 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

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 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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