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. In order to make Yakov appear like a Hasidic Jew, what does the Deputy Warden refuse to let Yakov do?

2. What is the name of the secret society that the prosecutor accuses Yakov of belonging to?

3. The boy's mother identifies Yakov as the man who chased her son. What does she say Yakov was chasing her son with?

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

5. While sitting in his cell reflecting on his circumstances in Chapter 6, Part 9, how does Yakov feel about his fate?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

3. According to Yakov's visitor in prison, why is he known as the "nameless Jew"?

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

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

6. When spring arrives, a visitor comes to the prison to comfort Yakov. Why does the visitor come?

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

8. Why does Yakov stop keeping track of the days?

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

10. Describe the later years of Yakov and Raisl's marriage.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

There are many people who are incarcerated or at the prison while Yakov is in prison. Identify at least three people killed at the prison. Compare and contrast each of these deaths being sure to indicate which character died, how the character died, and what impact on the overall plot the character's death had. What could - or should - Yakov have learned from each of these deaths?

(see the answer keys)

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