Six Degrees of Separation Themes

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Race and Racism

Paul is the only African-American character in the play. He recognizes that his race is a detriment in the society in which he wants to immerse himself, so he makes the best of it by claiming to be Sidney Poitier's son. Paul draws on the appeal of one of the first African-American actors who successfully challenged the race barrier, much as he is attempting to do now.

Paul makes pretensions to that world. He tells the Kittredges "I never knew I was black in that racist way till I was sixteen and carne back here [to the United States] I don't even feel black." He claims not to experience the typical problem of "being black in America" while he pretends to be of their world. Once the truth about his background has emerged, however, and Paul faces arrest, he admits the falsity of his earlier words...

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This section contains 724 words
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Buy the Six Degrees of Separation Study Guide
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Six Degrees of Separation from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.