The Test is a short story written by Angelica Gibbs in the 1940s. The Test illustrates the
issue of power abuse, where actions all originate from personal prejudices and ignorance.
The main point of both these stories was to raise awareness of racial prejudice which was
a common occurrence in the 1940s, much more than today. This story enforces the views
that race has no impact on a person’s ability to do the same things as a person from a
Marian, who is a Negro, failed her initial driverfs test and was back for a second attempt but for her it was not just a driverfs test. Being a racist, Marianfs inspector continually insulted her during the test. Unable to withhold her anger anymore, Marian shouted rudely at the inspector. Offended by Marianfs words, he purposely failed her.
Ø -'People say that they only want you to slip them a little something,' Mrs Ericson said
-“Something” refers to money.
-Mrs Ericson do not fully believe that the idea of bribing will help.
Ø - 'Don't you want to come along?' the inspector asked. 'Mandy and I don't mind
company.' Mrs Ericson was bewildered for a moment.
-The inspector make a racist remark by referring to Marian as “Mandy-Lou”.
-Mrs Ericson noticed the inspector was incredibly rude to Marian, but being a woman in
the 1940s, she can do nothing about it.
Ø The inspector feigned astonishment. 'You-all ain't Southern?' he said. 'Well,
dog my cats if I didn't think you-all came from down yondah.'
-The inspector puts a Southern American spin on all his speech, the innuendo being
that Negro’s primarily originate from the Southern states where they were once slaves.
Ø 'Read that sign at the end of the bridge,' the inspector said.
'"Proceed with caution. Dangerous in slippery weather,"' Marian said.
'You-all sho can read fine,' the inspector exclaimed. 'Where d'you learn to do that, Mandy?'
-The inspector was being sacarstic. He pretended that it’s a very unbelievable she can
read even though they are such simple words.
Ø 'I got my college degree last year,' Marian said. Her voice was not quite steady.
As the car crept up the slope of the bridge the inspector burst out laughing. He laughed
so hard he could scarcely give his next direction. 'Stop here,' he said, wiping his eyes,
'then start 'er up again. Mandy got her degree, did she? Dog my cats!'
-When Marian told the inspector that she got a college degree, the inspector was surprised and did not believe her. He took it as a joke and laughed it off. Usually at this point there would
be a shift of power but being a white man he is still in control.