Rulers around the world want loyalty from their people, either to benefit the country or to benefits himself. However, rulers in some places control people strictly and unreasonably, sometimes, without thinking of people’s feelings when they want power and loyalty, harm the society, which is reflected ironically in “Examination Day”.
Dickie is an eleven-year-old boy who is turning twelve on the day. His parents tell him that he get an intelligence test, and before that he needs to drink a medicine: “‘It’s nothing. It tastes like peppermint. It’s just to make sure you answer the questions truthfully.”. The fact that the Government gives medicines to the children to let them tell the truth suggests that he takes control of all people and gives them no rights for decisions. “‘Not that the Government thinks you won’t tell the truth, but it makes sure.’” The Government in the story is afraid that people are too smart to escape from his control, which again indicates that he wants to control all the people. “‘Now, it’s nothing to worry about. Thousands of children take this test every day.’ “Thousands of children” fully shows a large number of people under the strict control of the Government. The intelligence test implies that rulers in some places take control of all their people and giving them no rights for decisions.
Despite the large amount of people the rulers control, some of them are strict and unreasonable in the way they control people. The Government in the story controlled his people by using truth medicines on the children before the test, giving the intelligent children no opportunity to reject or save themselves once they start the test. He killed the intelligent ones like Dickie because they were too smart to be controlled by him. “‘I get good marks in school,’ he said hesitantly. ‘This is different. This is a – special kind of test. They give you this stuff to drink, you see, and then you go into a room where there’s a sort of machine -‘” The conversation between Mr. Jordan and his son Dickie before the test points out that the main purpose of the test was not to find out how good the children are in understanding and answering the questions and to develop their skills, but to decide whether they should be killed or not depending on their intelligent quotient.
Lastly, the way the rulers control people’s knowledge by the intelligence test is harmful to the people and the whole society. Mr. and Mrs. Jordan both lived in their intelligence test when they are twelve, as their intelligence quotient both qualified the Government regulation. Their conversation with Dickie from their daily life shows their ignorance: “‘Why did it have to rain today?’ he said. ‘Why couldn’t it rain tomorrow?’ His father, now slumped into an armchair with the Government newspaper rattled the sheets in vexation. ‘Because it just did, that’s all. Rain makes the grass grow.’ ‘Why, Dad?’ ‘Because it does, that’s all.’” His father does not know and does not want to know the answers to the questions Dickie ask. “‘Dad,’ he said, ‘how far away is the sun?’ ‘Five thousand miles,’ his father said.” “Five thousand miles” is obviously a wrong answer Mr. Jordan makes up to stops Dickie asking. The evidences above reflect that the way rulers rule people by controlling their knowledge, like the intelligence test in the story, cause the whole society to be ignorance. Additionally, this also causes the next generation to be ignorance due to their parents.
In conclusion, “Examination Day” reflects that some rulers in some places are being cruel and strict to people for more power and loyalty, and harm the society.