Six Degrees Of Separation: Film Analysis

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Paul’s desire for success in assimilating into the higher-class mirrors Richard Rodriguez’s expanded “Scholarship Boy” by mimicking his mentors, Paul uses Trent Conway’s teachings by trying to “be like his teachers, to possess their knowledge, to assume their authority, their confidence, even to assume a teacher’s persona” (Rodriguez 552). Thus, Paul uses his ability to mimic and act like a scholarship boy by adopting the language of the dominate culture to blend into higher-class lifestyle. Trent Conway becomes Paul’s mentor by teaching Paul the mannerism and language of Trent’s peers at Harvard University and their families. Also, Paul repeated exactly Trent’s teaching to Rick and Elizabeth on adopting the language of…show more content…
Paul seems educated to Rick and Elizabeth but under the surface Paul does not truly have a true understanding of his teachings. Rodriguez and the film Six Degrees of Separation both emphasize the importance of role models and the effects these teachers inflict on their students. In the promotional material of the film Jenna Gibbs asserts that the film tagline delves into a deeper subtext “For Paul, every person is a new door to a new world,” a catchy phrase that foreshadowed the story’s theme of interlocking human connections and community.” (Gibbs 903) When Paul meets Rick and Elizabeth it is an opportunity to play the part of a teacher but Paul is just an actor who has memorized his lines to pretend to be the son of Flan Kitteridge. Paul like the scholarship boy must rehearse his thoughts and without the direction of others Paul would be lost. Paul idolizes his teachers which he sees a Trent Conway and the Kitteridge’s, he even uses his false father figure Sidney Poitia as a metaphorical teacher. Sidney Poitia is an example of a black African American who overcame diversity that Paul can
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