The most important characters in “Examination Day” by Henry Slesar are Richard Jordan – nicknamed “Dickie” – as the main character, and his parents, Mr and Mrs Jordan, as secondary characters. Other characters, such as the people who work at the government testing facility, as well as the collective character of fathers and sons who wait their turn for testing, also appear in the story.

Dickie is a sensitive and intelligent boy who trusts his parents and the adults around him. At the end of the story, he is killed because he is deemed too intelligent by the government. While the story suggests that he feels safe in his family and in society (as he does not oppose the test), he becomes the innocent victim of his parents’ fear of opposing the government, and of the government itself.

Both Mrs Jordan and Mr Jordan symbolise the obedient and fearful citizens that live in this society. They comply with the government’s extreme measures, despite the suffering they bring.

Read their characterisations in the next pages!