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"THE TEST" SHORT STORY By Theodore L. Thomas
Terms in this set (13)
What kind of test is given in the short story?
A futuristic driving test is given.
What type of driver is Robert Proctor?
Even though he is young, Robert is a good driver.
How does Robert Proctor feel?
Robert Proctor feels relaxed and alert at the beginning of the short story
What does Robert notice?
As he is driving, Robert notices a large truck, which is spouting smoke, and a long blue convertible. He is about to pass these two vehicles.
How does Robert feel about his ability to work with cars?
Robert knows that he has a special feel for the tune of a car engine. He feels that no one in the world has an ability like his.
What happens when Robert starts to pass the convertible?
When Robert tries to pass, the convertible swings out and hits his car, knocking his car to the shoulder on the left side of the turnpike lane.
What catches the attention of Robert and transfixes him into immobility?
Robert sees a girl sleeping in the seat beside the driver of the car. He is transfixed by the "trusting helplessness" of the sleeping girl's face.
What seems to be happening to Robert Proctor (is he dying or is he sleeping)?
Some might believe Robert Proctor is sleeping and some might believe he is dying. It is a personal opinion, based on a reader's interpretation of the passage.
In connection to the previous question, why might this passage be deliberately ambiguous?
The passage is ambiguous because it increases the level of mystery and intrigue for the reader. This writing (storytelling) technique is often used by science fiction and horror writers.
What does Robert learn about the accident when he wakes up?
Robert knows that he had been put through the accident while under hypnosis. Hypnosis is part of the driving test.
How does Robert assess the accident damages?
Robert thinks about the sleeping girl and how she could have gone right from sleep to death. He notes that her early death would have been a waste.
Who appears after Robert fills out his application?
Two men in white uniforms appear.
At the end of the short story, is Robert still dreaming?
Robert asks the uniformed man if he is still dreaming, and the man responds by saying, "How do any of us know?"
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