The Unfortunate Transformation From Good To Evil (Test by Sylvain Neuvel)
The Unfortunate Transformation From Good To Evil
Any good person can either be stopped at some point, or become evil. There are exceptions to this, but most good people end up in one of the two situations. Whether they are driven mad, pushed over the edge of their restraint, or their power gets to their head. One either dies a hero or lives long enough to become the villain. In the novella the Test by Sylvain Neuvel, Deep, the BVA operator and Idir, the test participant both succumb to the same fate of evil, however, they both achieve this change through different ways.
Deep’s original intent when becoming an operator of the BVA test was pure, but once he was given the power, the control over Idir’s mind, his judgement clouded, he gave in to the pressure and his actions resulted in disaster, turning him into the mastermind of Idir’s trauma. To begin, as Deep took control of the test once Laura, his supervisor and aid left him to figure out what to do all by himself, he realized how much power he was handed over. Similar to a child seeing a gun as a toy, Deep saw the BVA as an experiment, the test of his talents as an operator. Deep went through the motions of putting Idir through his own mental hell, having to witness his dear Tidir killed by the terrorists of the simulation.
Describing Deep’s thoughts, the author describes,“he (Deep) won’t say it himself, but he wishes someone would have said his K3 was a work of art,” (Neuvel 85).
Deep was distracted and did not realize his error until it was too late. What went from Deep only wanting to pass his test turned into a game for him, a toy for him to play with. Furthermore, the pressure of the testing on Deep could have contributed to his unfortunate fall into darkness. He knew going into this situation that he was confident and more than ready. He
had memorized the entire BVA manual almost word for word, yet he still was anxious, as one would be. After all, this is his only chance to officially prove his worth as an operator and to cement his competence. He knows if he fails, much time and effort will be wasted.
Deep thought to himself minutes before being left to continue the test on his own, “first generation citizens don’t get this job and Deep is well aware of it. He is fidgeting in his seat. His eyes going to the screen to the BVA manual sitting on his lap,” (Neveul 38).
In trying to impress his superiors, he sought to formulate a memorable scenario in order to increase his chances of success. However, he was far too ambitious in his goals and within quite a small amount of time, turned his simulation into massacre. Although Deep had done something so wrong, his intentions were pure at all times, he is an example of how someone good can become something terrible, even without them being aware of it, only for them to realize their mistakes after the fact.
Idir has always been a modest fellow, with a gentle heart and even gentler demeanor, but this all changes after his citizenships where he becomes an agent of chaos, never to be the same again. First and foremost, Idir knew he needed to be calm during the hostage situation he was in, but he eventually gave in to his rage and killed the terrorist that had been taunting him for what felt akin to an unbearable length of time. Idir became so filled to the brim with rage that he did not even pay attention to the fact that he would surely die, in summary, he completely lost all care for anything other than killing his tormenter right then and there.
The author describes,“he (Idir) unleashes all his rage; fists keep raining down until the man’s (the terrorist leader’s) face is no longer a face,” (Neuvel page 96).
This moment signifies the climax of the story and of Idir’s madness.. From the BVA Idir changes, he develops an evil he did not have before, it was only a matter of time before he had to succumb to it under the circumstances he was in. In addition, after Idir’s descent into mayhem, him and his family go back to normal, or rather, as close to normal as can be. Him and
Tidir become distant, as he resents her for being so forgiving of what he did. He had to sacrifice her in order to protect the others, which he felt terrible guilt for.
Idir states, “there is a darkness in me now. A monster awakened from a long sleep,” (Neuvel 103).
Idir, although a man with a good heart, has changed as well as his relationships, thus adding further examples of supposed heroes becoming evil.
Every good man and woman has the potential of becoming the thing they go up against, and there are rarely exceptions to this unfortunately. Deep becoming an evil manipulator of Idir’s mind and Idir letting in the darkness of his mind provides more than enough proof of this statement. In the end, not everything is as it seems, even the best of the best run the risk of becoming the worst of the worst, but luckily there is always hope, no matter what happens.