The Fixer Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Where does Yakov pretend to be from when confronted by the boatman?

2. Where does Yakov first find Nikolai?

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

4. What language is Yakov speaking exclusively since leaving the shtetl?

5. When one of the guards takes pity on Yakov, what does Yakov suddenly have?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Based on the indictment the warden delivers to Yakov, why does Yakov think he may be freed when he finally goes to trial?

3. Looking back on his marriage to Raisl, why does Yakov now believe that it was a mistake to marry Raisl?

4. As winter nears, Yakov hopes to be indicted. Why?

5. 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?

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. Why does Marfa accuse Yakov of running a smuggling trade route?

8. As Yakov is being prepared for his trial, why does a barber come and shave Yakov's head?

9. After refusing the pardon, Yakov decides that things are never truly as bad as they can get. Why does Yakov decide that?

10. When spring arrives, a visitor comes to the prison to comfort Yakov. What does the visitor tell Yakov he must do in order to be released from the prison?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the Nikolai character at the beginning of the book after Yakov saves his life. What is Nikolai's motivation? What drives him? Then, discuss this same character when he provides false testimony when questioned by the police about Yakov. What is Nikolai's motivation then? What is driving him? How do the events that happen between these two personalities change Nikolai's character from someone the reader likes - or perhaps feels sorry for - into a character the reader begins to hate? Who is Nikolai at the end of the story?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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