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. What is the name of the guard who is comforted by Yakov's scripture readings?

2. When Bibikov comes to the prison to question Yakov, who does Bibikov believe is actually Yakov's greatest enemy?

3. To what group does Nikolai belong?

4. Each day, Yakov does recitations in his cell that the guards can overhear. What language does Yakov recite in?

5. How much money does Nikolai offer to Yakov if Yakov will fix up an apartment that Nikolai owns?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Yakov hate living in the Jewish neighborhood in Kiev?

2. Why does Yakov debate returning the next day to the home of the person he found passed out in the snow?

3. Why is Yakov uneasy in the days before his next prison visitor is set to arrive?

4. What does Yakov think about as he rides in the carriage to the courthouse?

5. Why is Yakov moved by the stories he reads about Jesus?

6. When Yakov tells his visitor that he is being held in jail because he lied about his papers, how does the visitor respond?

7. Explain Bibikov's theory regarding Zhenia's murder.

8. When the prosecutor visits Yakov, what does he tell Yakov to have the Jews stop doing?

9. When Yakov is offered a pardon by the Tsar, why does Yakov refuse the pardon?

10. Describe the scene from Yakov's childhood that gives him nightmares.

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

In the course of the novel, Yakov is involved with two very different women - Raisl and Zina.

a. Compare and contrast these two women. How are they alike? How are they different?

b. Describe the relationship that Yakov has with each of these women. How does Yakov benefit from each relationship? What struggles does Yakov go through as a result of each relationship?

c. Is Yakov better or worse off for having been with each of these women? Explain your reasoning.

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the course of the novel, Yakov has to deal with two very different authority figures. Compare and contrast the relationship Yakov has with Bibikov and the relationship Yakov has with the prosecutor. Then, compare and contrast the two men. How do these two relationships influence not only Yakov, but also the events that surround the crime and its investigation?

(see the answer keys)

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