The Fixer Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to the boy's mother, what does Zhenia see when he looks in Yakov's apartment?

2. Back in his cell after the indictment farce in court, what does Yakov compare his scenario to?

3. Where does the running crowd finally stop?

4. According to Proshko's testimony, how does Yakov set the fire he is accused of starting?

5. Who is the first person to bring firewood to Yakov's cell?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Yakov finally meets with his attorney, what is the bad news that the attorney tells to Yakov?

2. As Bibikov continues to question Yakov, Bibikov confesses that he is living in fear. Why?

3. According to the boatman who ferries Yakov across the river, how could all of Russia's problems be solved?

4. When Yakov becomes very sick and nauseous, why is he refused access to the prison hospital?

5. When Yakov is returned to prison and then meets with the prosecutor, the prosecutor offers him a lighter sentence in return for what?

6. After Yakov is discovered digging at the concrete and becomes despondent, he finally realizes something that the officials want. What do the officials want?

7. When Yakov describes the things he takes pleasure in, what does he describe?

8. Why does Yakov suspect that the prosecutor has included the tales of molestation in the indictment?

9. Why is Yakov's visitor miserable living in the shtetl?

10. As Yakov imagines talking to the Tsar, how does Yakov answer the Tsar's question about whether Yakov has been taught anything by his suffering?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Identify four of the people that are on the side of the prosecution against Yakov for the murder of Zhenia. Then, compare and contrast the backgrounds, experiences, and opinions of the four prosecution members you identified when Zhenia was first found murdered. Is each member of the group necessary in order for the prosecution to build its case against Yakov? Why or why not? Is any member of the group expendable? Why or why not? What might have been different if these group members were not involved with the case? Explain your reasoning.

Essay Topic 2

Malamud uses this story to demonstrate how wrong it is to hate people for their religious beliefs and backgrounds. Examine the author's beliefs through his storytelling. Why would the author choose this story to overlay his demonstration of the consequences realized when acting out of hatred? What do you learn from the author's discussion on hatred? What other avenues, if any, could the author have used to express his beliefs? Would those avenues have been as effective as the story? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

There is no doubt that Yakov has been greatly affected by the murder of his parents that occurred years earlier in the shtetl. Discuss how Yakov's past affects not only his worldview, but also his decision to leave the shtetl and his ability to cope with his incarceration. How does Yakov's past affect his mental state, his ability to reason, his ability to trust, and his ability to hope?

(see the answer keys)

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