The Fixer Essay

900 Words4 Pages
The Fixer In the novel, The Fixer, the author, Bernard Malamud, presents to us a poor Jewish handyman living in Russia during the early 1900’s, before the Russian revolution had begun. Destroyed by his wife’s disavowal, Yakov Shepsovitch Bok leaves his shtetl in search of opportunities for a better life. After a few months of desperate searching, Yakov sneaks out of the ghetto to look for work among the goyim. As he searches the streets, he stumbles upon a man who lay drunk on the floor. Yakov immediately recognizes a pin on the man’s coat as belonging to the anti-Semite organization called the Black Hundreds. Putting his doubts behind him, Yakov decides to help the fat Russian. Not aware of Yakov’s origins, the Russian offers him a…show more content…
He states he is a Jew only “by birth and nationality,” though nobody understands what is meant by that. To the Russians he is legally a mere Jew. At one point Yakov says to himself “I’m Yakov Fixer... the kind of man who finds it perilous to be alive. One thing I must learn is to say less-much less, or I’ll ruin myself. As it is I’m already ruined.” During his first few months in prison, Yakov does not seem to get accustomed to the hardships. As time passes him by, however, he grows used to life in a prison cell, but it only gets worst. As the novel unfolds, Yakov becomes extremely weak and thin and he looses the trifling faith that was still left in him. Throughout the novel, the main idea is very obvious. It is Yakov falsely accused of the murder of a young boy in order to drain his blood for the baking of the Passover matzos. The theme of anti-Semitism in Russia during the time of pogroms and of Tsar Nicholas the second is a universal theme presented to us as the book unravels. It is evident that if Yakov had not been born of the Jewish faith, he would not have been charged with the murder of Zhenia Golov. He was being used only as an example to the three million Jewish residents of Russia. He was being used as a warning. The meaning of the title The Fixer,
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