How does John Guare explore the paradoxes of rich and poor within the play In Six Degrees of Separation?

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In Six Degrees of Separation, John Guare explores the paradoxes of rich and poor, examining how rich people can be poor in some ways while poor people trying to be rich can get into plenty of trouble. Let’s look at this in more detail.

Flan and Ouisa are quite...

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In Six Degrees of Separation, John Guare explores the paradoxes of rich and poor, examining how rich people can be poor in some ways while poor people trying to be rich can get into plenty of trouble. Let’s look at this in more detail.

Flan and Ouisa are quite well off. They live in a nice apartment in New York City. They have sent their kids to expensive, prestigious schools. They seem to have everything going for them. But, in a strange way, this makes them vulnerable to a conman like Paul. So much rides on Flan’s reputation among his peers and in the art world that a hint of scandal could ruin everything. Paul’s false accusations threaten everything Flan and Ouisa have worked for. Even though they are materially rich, they are poor in security.

Paul, on the other hand, is a poor man trying to act like he were rich. He does a good job of it. He claims to be the son of a famous actor. He has learned and can convincingly imitate all the habits of speech and action of upper-class young people. But Paul is not at all what he seems. He is a conman out to take advantage of people like he is pretending to be. In the end, though, his pretending to be rich makes him poorer than ever as his actions lead to Rick’s suicide and as Paul finds himself in jail.

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