John Guare Writing Styles in Six Degrees of Separation

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Symbolism

The play's primary symbol is the Kandinsky painting that hangs in the Kittredges' living room. It is the audience's focal point; as the play opens, "A painting revolves slowly high over the stage. . . . [Kandinsky] has painted on either side of the canvas in two different styles. One side is geometric and somber. The other side is wild and vivid. The painting stops its revolve and opts for the geometric side." The two-sided painting symbolizes human duality. Paul is the living embodiment of the Kand1nsky. The "somber" side he introduces to the Kittredges, with his preppiness, his Brooks Brothers shirt, and his Poitier pedigree. When Ouisa a startles Paul the next morning, however, she comes across the "wild" side of Paul, the young man who purchases sexual favors from gay prostitutes. Throughout the play, Paul wavers between both personalities. To Rick and Elizabeth, he appears as the young...

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This section contains 791 words
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Buy the Six Degrees of Separation Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Six Degrees of Separation from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.