The Testing

The Testing Irony

Michel’s position in the government

When Michal is first introduced, Cia does not know whether or not she can trust him. He is a Testing official, so it would seem as though Michal would be as cold and callous as the other officials. However, Michal is using his position as a way to break apart the rigid organization from the inside.

Ryme’s confidence

Cia’s first meeting with Ryme is pleasant, but the stress of the first round of tests turns Ryme into a highly competitive candidate who uses bragging and confidence to try and throw Cia off. Ryme attacks Cia’s intelligence twice in order to boost her own positioning, but Cia does not take the bait. It turns out, though, that Ryme’s confidence is all an act. She is really full of insecurities and terrified of failing. Instead of letting this push her to succeed, she takes her own life because she was not confident enough in her own abilities and intelligence.

Will’s actions

When Will admits to being the crossbow killer during the fourth round of testing, he is unapologetic for his deceit. He wants Cia, Tomas, and the other candidates out of his way so he can make it to the University. Once the Testing is over, though, he defends his actions, claiming that the Testing is really about making choices and living with the consequences and memories. Cia accuses him of not caring about the people he killed, but he surprises her when he rattles off the names of the people that he killed. He is not cheerful about having to kill people, but he knows that later in his life he will be prepared to answer to his conscious about his actions.

the human creatures

The human creatures that Cia comes in contact with on the hill and, later, in the dilapidated city, resemble beasts and not people. Severely mutated by the after-effects of radiation, the creatures are not capable of recognizable speech or behavior. However, Cia does recognize shreds of their humanity, in their eyes and in their actions. The creatures act to protect their kin, try to take care of their wounded, and mourn their dead. Cia's realization causes her to lead Tomas through the cityscape carefully, knowing the creatures will not attack unless provoked, motivated by protective instincts. However, Brick does not see the creatures as human, and he kills them all out of his misguided attempt to protect Cia. Comparing the creatures' actions to Brick's, the reader is left to wonder who is more human - Brick, and candidates like him, or the creatures.