The Fixer

2397 Words10 Pages
During the early 1900’s, the world underwent an antisemitic coup that was treated differently throughout all countries. Life for Jews in Eastern Europe, during the early 1900’s, was characterized by oppression, segregation, limited occupations, and extreme racism. They were not allowed to marry out side their race and people were willing to show their hatred (anti-Semitism) via decals or pins such as the two-headed eagle of the Black Hundreds on Mr. Maximovitch. In his novel The Fixer, Malamud tells the story of Yakov Bok, a Jew born in Russia during the very early 1900’s. Aspiring to a good future, he leaves his home for Kiev to start a new life. While living here he must hide his cultural background, even though he doesn't…show more content…
They stayed alive. The Fixer wanted better, at least better then he had, too much of nothing.” (Malamud 31). When Yakov find Mr. Maximovitch in the snow one night, he not only has fear for the pin of the two-headed eagle on his coat but the fact that the rule of the area forbid any Jew from being in that area and the situation he was in would had likely had lead to a punishment but finds the urge to save this man from suffocating in the snow. When Yakov is eventually taken to jail he is treated very poorly to the extent that they separate him from all the other prisoners in the Kiev jail. When Yakov first enters the jail, he is placed into a group cell full of other criminals. Two guys, by the name of Akimytch and Potseikin, discover the accusation hat Yakov is accused of a beat him. Yakov remembers fighting as he “struck out with his fits, Potseikin hit him with a knee in the back as Akimytch struck him on the neck with both fists. The Fixer went down, his mind darkened in pain. He lay motionless as they kicked him savagely, he felt as he passed out, a terrible rage” (Malamud 107). This pushes Yakov to move cells to move away from this cell of criminals he loathed. When he is moved to solitary confinement, his movement is limited further by being chained to the bed and multiple
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