Mrs. Ericson

Here, you can find the characterization of Mrs. Ericson, a secondary character of “The Test” by Angelica Gibbs.

Outer characterization

Mrs. Ericson is Marian’s employer - her brief outer characterization tells us that she is a white American woman.

She employs Marian as a housekeeper and nanny, but she cannot pay her more – this is reflected by her remark about Marian deserving more money than she gets: “ ‘Oh, Marian,’ Mrs. Ericson exclaimed, ‘if I could only pay you half of what you’re worth!’ ”.

Note that the author never mentions Mrs. Ericson’s husband – this is probably because Mr. Ericson does not get involved in household activities, which were usually left to women.

Inner characterization

Mrs. Ericson’s inner characterization is constructed through dialogue and the narrator’s words.

From the beginning of the story, readers learn that Mrs. Ericson accompanies Marian to her second driving test: “ ‘It’s probably better to have someone a little older with you,’ Mrs. Ericson said.”. Here, it is suggested Mrs. Ericson might be aware of the prejudiced attitudes against Marian but doesn't state it openly.

She also offers to drive: “ ‘Do you want me to drive?’ Mrs. Ericson asked. ‘I’ll be glad to if you’re feeling jumpy.’ ”. This shows that she cares for Marian. She also tries to comfort Marian about her first failed driving test, giving various explanations for why she was flunked: “ ‘Perhaps last time your Cousin Bill made you nervous, talking too...

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