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Test -Theodore Thomas

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Miranda Vaccaro

on 21 December 2010

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Transcript of Test -Theodore Thomas

Test By:
Theodore Thomas Summary Events & their significance Characters Theme Settings This story is about a young man named Robert Proctor, who is put under hypnosis to experience a terrible car accident with his mother, a little girl, and himself. This is all done by the government in order to see how he would react in this kind of situation, to see if he is a suitable driver. Though he acted responsibly under hypnosis, he is still denied of his license because he had killed both people in the car, however, this result would have been inevitable, due to the fact the accident was so extreme. Even after the fact the hypnosis had ended, he still had the incredible , overwhelming guilt, and the picture of the little girls face vivid in his mind. We as readers are led to believe Robert Proctor is now traumatized due to this experience. Robert Proctor (protagonist): Robert Proctor is a young man, who went for a drivers test and was put under hypnosis by the government, in order to experience what it would be like to be in a severe car accident. From the book we can assume that Robert Proctor is a very cautious, careful driver, we see this in the quote “Robert Proctor was too wise to slam on the brakes” on page 130. Throughout the car accident we see him fighting to save his mother, and a little girl who were also in the car with him. From this we can see he is a very selfless, because his main goal to keep those two people safe. In this short story we cannot really see how people treat Robert Proctor, the only people that had real interactions with him was the government, which in my opinion was a negative reaction, because they had tried to control his mind and that was wrong. The Little Girl: In my opinion I believe the little girl in the frontseat plays a very important role in this story. I feel as if she can represent Robert Proctors conscience, this is because when he is awakened from the hypnosis her face is still vivid in his mind, showing that he was very upset about killing another human, whether it was by accident or not. I also believe the little girl can represent innocence, she is a child like figure in story that Robert Proctor will now constantly think about due to this experience. The Government (antagonist): The men in blue uniforms and coats represent the government officials. They are the antagonists in the story because they put the protagonist (Robert Proctor) under hypnosis to see his driving abilities. I believe this short story shows that the government is trying to control citizens with their power, and showing how they are allowed to put people through this without consequences. This shows a very negative trait on the government officials parts, because of the way they have treated Robert Proctor. People will obviously respond the government positively because they are fearful of their power, however, we can all see that the antagonist has responded to this experiment very terribly, for now he is traumatized from this driving test. Mother of Robert Proctor: In my opinion I believe that Robert Proctors can mainly represent exactly what the little girl does, minus the innocence factor. Since this is Robert’s mother, she is the one that gave him life, and he feels guilty about “killing” her later because he is the one that took away her life. Therefore, his mother in his hypnosis is also representative of his conscience.
This story had two different settings:

1. The first setting in this story is the more obvious setting, it is the turn-pike where the car accident occurred, though this setting was all placed in his mind.

2. The second setting is the room that Robert Proctor is hypnotized in by the government officials, in which we dont know the details of. I believe the short story “Test” is about humanities need for power, and control. The power in this story is the control of ones minds, ones abilities, and opinions of oneself. This is shown best when Robert Proctor has awaken from his hypnosis and realizes that everything he went through, the fear, and the terror, was just based on the governments control. The definition of hypnosis is “a mental state (according to "state theory") or imaginative role-enactment (according to "non-state theory").” The hypnosis was used to make him believe what the government wanted him to believe, to make him see what the government wanted him to see, and to feel how the government wanted him to feel. This is what I believe the theme is of the short story “Test” by Theodore Thomas.
1) The first important event I chose was the first initial hit after Robert Proctor tries to overtake the big truck, then a blue convertible swung out of nowhere, and struck his right fender. His car began to spin but Robert knew better than to slam on his breaks, instead he tried to regain control.
I believe the significance of this event is to show that Robert Proctor is in fact a good driver, because he knew to use his common sense by not reacting to his panic, and slamming onto the breaks. Also, the fact that the blue convertible came out of nowhere without warning, shows that this accident was not Robert Proctors fault.
2) The second important event I chose is before the oncoming car, Robert Proctor notices a little girl in the front seat right before his car spins out of control and the image of this girl was now imprinted in his mind. I believe the significance of this event is to show that after he wakes up from the hypnosis experience he is feeling extremely guilty, because he thought he took a humans life and it was out of his control entirely. So now, the face of the little girl is burned into his brain, and we can infer he is traumatized. The control was all in the governments hands. 3) The third important event I chose was Robert Proctor waking up from hypnosis finding out his fear, and his world was based on mind control by the government, and the government officials. I believe the significance of this event is that it shows us the theme of the story in its entirety. It is about humanities need for power and control, and in this case the government is the control. Robert Proctor had his mind taken over, and was made to believe something that was not so, therefore finding his whole experience and fear to be a lie, and it was all based on another's idea. (Governments) Writers craft SYMBOLISM: “Her voice was as cool as the morning.” This is quote was on page 130. This was said to Robert Proctor by his mother who was in the car with him the day of the “accident”. Symbolism is significant to this story because it shows us how Robert Proctor was ready to drive on a calm, nice day with his mother, and he was confident in his driving. This line gives us the easy going feel of the drive, and how it is worry free. IMAGERY: “Robert Proctor seemed to be at the bottom of a deep black well.” This quote it on page 131. This is significant to the short story because it is explaining when Robert Proctor is coming out of the hypnosis, and soon realizes that everything he previously went though was plotted out for him by someone else.
By: miranda vaccaro QUIZ =) 1. The antagonist in the short story “Test” is: A) Government (Government Officials)
B) The hypnotist
C) Robert Proctor
D) The guy in the blue convertible 2. The Government officials had put Robert Proctor under hypnosis because: A) They wanted to see how well he could drive.
B) They wanted to see how well he could drive under extreme, fatal accident conditions.
C) They didn’t trust him on the road.
D) They wanted to see if he was eligible to get his license.
3. Robert Proctor was denied of his license because: A) He had too many passengers in the car.
B) Trick question, he was not denied of his license.
C) He had killed two passengers, including himself in the fatal accident.
D) He had caused an accident.
4. Explain the two separate settings in this story, and differentiate them: _____________________________________
_____________________________________ 5. Robert Proctors accident was in fact real, but we are led to believe it is not. True or False 6. The two other passengers in the car were: A) There was only his mother.
B) There was only the little girl.
C) There was the mother and the little girl.
D) There were no other passengers.
7. The little girl in this story is significant because: ______________________________
______________________________ 8. When Robert Proctor is awoken from the hypnosis he is: A) Overwhelmed with guilt.
B) Is not phased, and is taken of his license privileges peacefully.
C) Argumentative.
D) Saddened. 9. Though the simulation was not real, do you believe
Robert Proctor is scarred from the experience? personal response: _________________________________
__________________________________________________ 10) Where did this accident take place? A) At a turn-pike in real life.
B) At a turn pike in Robert Proctors mind.
C) In Robert Proctors mind.
D) There wasn’t even an accident.
Answer Key.
1. B
2. B
3. C
4. 2 settings are: Robert Proctors mind where accident took place,
and the room Robert Proctor is placed in to undergo hypnosis.
5. False.
6. C
7. She represents innocence and Robert Proctor is scarred because
in his mind he took her life.
8. A
9. Yes. (If you have a decent reason, than you get it right)
10. B THE END :)

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