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 offense does Proshko accuse Yakov of when he gives his statement to the secret police?

2. What colors does Proshko say are the flames of the fire that Yakov is accused of setting?

3. With nothing to do in his cell, Yakov pieces together bits of something that he recites in his cell. What does he piece together?

4. What is the name of the prisoner sent to talk to Yakov?

5. Even though Yakov is desperately ill and not allowed access to the prison hospital, the prison doctor does tell him how to be cured. What is the doctor's advice?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Yakov reaches the river, the boatman has to convince Yakov to accept the ferry ride. How does the boatman convince Yakov?

2. When Yakov shares his story regarding why he is being held in prison, why do his cellmates beat him?

3. As Yakov's hallucinations become regular, what does he have trouble figuring out?

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

5. After Yakov's visitor leaves, the warden learns of the visit and interrogates Yakov again. What is the interrogation about?

6. Why doesn't Yakov want the authorities to win if he should happen to die a "nameless Jew"?

7. Why does Yakov steel himself to live instead of wanting to die?

8. Even though Yakov keeps track of the days, he's not completely sure he's right. Why not?

9. Why do the officials decide not to charge Yakov with sexual assault based on Zina's official testimony?

10. When Yakov is returned to his cell, he feels a certain kinship with two other men in his cell. What does Yakov think the men all have in common?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The book is entitled, "The Fixer". Why does the author choose this title? How does the title foreshadow the struggles Yakov faces, the overarching political climate, and the determination of Yakov to keep busy while incarcerated?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast the warden with the deputy warden.

a. How are the two characters similar in terms of their professional lives? How are they different?

b. How are the two characters similar in their personality characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses? How are they different?

c. Only one of these characters survives the story. Is the deputy warden's death a result of his own doing or a result of dumb luck? Is the warden's survival a result of his own doing or a result of dumb luck? Support your reasoning for both.

d. Looking forward, how might Yakov's incarceration and subsequent trial have affected each of these men as they moved forward with their lives? Would they be similarly affected or not? Explain your answers and your reasoning.

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast how the character of Yakov Bok changes as the story progresses. Be sure to include your assessment of Yakov's character when he is first introduced in the story, when Yakov leaves the shtetl, after Yakov receives his first indictment, and when the story ends. Use examples from the story to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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