Test Essay Angelica Gibbs

Angelica Gibbs (1908–1955) was an American writer of short stories and contributions to magazines like The New Yorker. She was born in Baltimore, Maryland.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Angelica Singleton Gibbs was born to Lucius Tuckerman Gibbs and Angelica Singleton Duer. Her older brother Oliver Wolcott Gibbs, was an editor and theatre critic of The New Yorker. On her mother's side, she was the great-great granddaughter of the eighth President of the United States, Martin Van Buren and the First LadyHannah Hoes Van Buren. She was married to Robert Elliot Canfield and had two children Sarah Duer Canfield and David E. Canfield.

Gibbs graduated from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Published works[edit]

As a senior at Vassar College, Gibbs was the editor of Vassar Poetry, 1930,[2] along with three other seniors who made selections from poems submitted by Vassar students.

In 1932, Gibbs went on to publish her first novel, Murder Between Drinks, a mystery fiction.[3] Gibbs published again in 1944, along with five other writers, in New York Murders.[4] According to a review that appeared in The New Yorker on November 4, 1944:

"Six writers - Kurt Steel, Inspector Thomas Byrnes, Lawrence Treat, Baynard Kendrick, Angelica Gibbs, and Edward D. Radin - tell, for the most part not too successfully, the stories of seven unhackneyed New York State crimes. Mr. Steel's narration of the Walton-Matthews case in 1860, the Byrnes notes on the Ryan murders in 1873, and Miss Gibb's reconstruction of the Wilkins affair in 1919 are fine stuff for the fanciers of the Edmund Pearson school of necrology. The rest of the pieces seem tricked or prettied up for the detective-magagzine trade."[5]

The Test[6][edit]

Her short story The Test was first published in The New Yorker, issue dated June 15, 1940. The story revolves around the main character Marian, a young African-American woman on her second attempt to obtain a driver's license. The story begins with Marian and her employer, Mrs Ericson, driving to the test. Although she has a college degree, Marian could only secure a job working as a nanny to a white family. Marian has already failed her first attempt to get a driver's license due to the racially charged unfairness of the first inspector. On her second try, she again is subjected to a discouraging attitude of an ignorant inspector, leading her to shout out, "Damn you!" before immediately being failed despite her actual driving ability.

The story concerns questions of racial and sexual discrimination and is Gibbs' most often anthologized story, especially amongst other stories that share in themes of discrimination, as in Primer for White Folks[7] where it appears alongside stories by W. E. B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright and many others.

The New Yorker[edit]

Gibbs began submitting fiction to The New Yorker in 1931 and for the next twenty-three years she continued supplying the magazine with fiction as well as contributions to its weekly sections, like Onward & Upward, The Talk of the Town, Comment and reviews for books as well as theater shows. Her more notable contributions to the magazine are:

Fiction

  • "To Live Dangerously" (April 11, 1931)[8]
  • "Her Mother was a Singleton" (August 29, 1931)[9]
  • "The H.J. Winninger Girl "(May 20, 1933)[10]
  • "Nonconformist" (June 17, 1933)[11]
  • On Wings of Peace (December 18, 1937)[12]
  • Who Am I, Jessie (October 15, 1938)[13]
  • Lunch Hour (October 22, 1938)[14]
  • Helping Hand (January 14, 1939)[15]
  • To Meet Edwina (February 11, 1939)[16]
  • Dear Little Margaret (March 4, 1939)[17]
  • They Have to Be Careful (August 19. 1939)[18]
  • The Bootleg Baby Carriage (January 20, 1940)[19]
  • Punch with Care (February 17, 1940)[20]
  • Marella (July 20, 1940)[21]
  • Initiation (December 21, 1940)[22]
  • Pilgrimage (August 30, 1941)[23]
  • Home Repair (January 23, 1943)[24]
  • Locked It With the Key Outside (October 28, 1944)

Non-Fiction

  • PROFILES: Recurrent and Irreducible (April 13, 1946)[26]
  • PROFILES: Choreographer (September 14, 1946)[27]
  • PROFILES: The Absolute Frontier (December 27, 1947)[28]
  • PROFILES: One Sweet Little Business (July 31, 1948)[29]
  • PROFILES: With Palette Knife and Skillet (May 28, 1949)[30]
  • PROFILES: T-Bars and I-Dots (December 24, 1949)[31]
  • PROFILES: Down the Leash (November 24, 1951)[32]
  • PROFILES: LILT (February 7, 1953)[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^Hubin, Allen J. "Crime Fiction IV: A Comprehensive Bibliography 1749-2000". Battered Silicon Dispatch Box. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  2. ^Vassar College. "Vassar Poetry, 1930". Farrar and Rinehart. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  3. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "Murder Between Drinks". W. Morrow. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  4. ^Collins, Ted. "New York Murders". Regional Murder Series. Duell, Sloan and Pearce. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  5. ^"BOOKS: Mystery and Crime". The New Yorker. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  6. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "The Test". The New Yorker. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  7. ^Moon, Bucklin (1945). Primer for White Folks. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran. p. 491. 
  8. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "To Live Dangerously". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  9. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "Her Mother Was A Singleton". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  10. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "The H.J. Winninger Girl". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  11. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "Nonconformist". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  12. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "On Wings of Peace". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  13. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "Who Am I, Jessie?". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  14. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "Lunch Hour". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  15. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "Helping Hand". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  16. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "To Meet Edwina". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  17. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "Dear Little Margaret". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  18. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "They Have to Be Careful". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  19. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "The Bootleg Baby Carriage". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  20. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "Punch With Care". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  21. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "Marella". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  22. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "Initiation". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  23. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "Pilgrimage". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  24. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "Home Repair". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  25. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "Recurrent and Irreducible". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  26. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "Choreographer". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  27. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "The Absolute Frontier". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  28. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "One Sweet Little Business". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  29. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "With Palette Knife and Skillet". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  30. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "T-Bars and I-Dots". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  31. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "Down the Leash". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  32. ^Gibbs, Angelica. "LILT". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 

Presentation on theme: "“The Test” By Angelica Gibbs"— Presentation transcript:

1 “The Test” By Angelica Gibbs
Key Exam Hints“The Test”By Angelica Gibbs

2 The IntroductionRestate the question and reuse the key words to show you are aware of what you have to write about.Drop in the relevant information – text title, author and ….Restate the focus of the question focusExplain how the author helps you to understand the focus of the question. (i.e. techniques used/themes highlighted)

3 Question: … on first reading seems like a simple story, but on second reading a more complex …
Your Intro:“The Test” by Angelica Gibbs initially/on first reading seems like a simple story about a young black girl who fails her driving test. However, on second reading, it becomes obvious that this is a more complex story about racism and social divisions. Gibb helps us to understand this through her use of characterisation, dialogue and imagery.

4 You Try …PROSEAnswers to questions on Prose should refer to the text and to such relevant features as characterisation, setting, language, key incident(s), climax, turning point, plot, structure, narrative technique, theme, ideas, description .Choose a novel or a short story or a work of non-fiction which explores an important theme.By referring to appropriate techniques, show how the author has explored this theme.4. Choose a novel or a short story in which the author creates a fascinating character.By referring to appropriate techniques, show how the author has created this character and why you found him/her so fascinating.

5 Key Vocabulary Racism Persecution Prejudice
Stereotypes / StereotypicalSocial divideSocial exclusionPassive racist (Mrs Ericson)Overtly racist (The inspector)ChallengeSocial norms / Social expectationsPre - Civil Rights MovementSocial strata

6 You must explain the setting
Pre Civil Right Movement which challenged and rejected stereotypes and racist behaviourBUT in “The Test” no one challenged the prevailing attitudes / behaviour towards black society. (Why not?)It was the expected and accepted social order (reflected by Marian’s passive acceptance of her treatment)To challenge this was to risk social exclusion (Mrs Ericson – “I wish I could pay you …your worth”

7 Use Topic Sentences to link to focus of the exam question ..
The author uses dialogue to reflect the stereotypical beliefs about black society.The author also uses characterisation to reflect stereotypical and accepted behaviour.Symbolism is also used by the author to portray the social division between black and white society.

8 Conclusion Restate the introduction in a slightly different way.
e.g. It is through the author’s use of characterisation, dialogue and symbolism that we come to appreciate the complex issues of racism and social division in this apparently simple story.Make a personal comment about the main ideas/themes.Should this story have been written at a later different point in America’s social history, perhaps Marian would have passed her test – or at least had the civil right to speak out against the unfair treatment imposed upon her by the racist inspector.

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