| Free Book Review for The Fixer by Bernard
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THE FIXER - LESSON PLANS / BOOK REVIEW
After his release from the infirmary, Yakov was put in a different cell. It was still a solitary one. The warden said that he wanted the fixer closer to him because there were rumors that he might have escape plans.
The winter was cold. At times there was ice on the inside of the outer wall. The broken window let in the wind.
Zhitnyak, one of the guards, told the fixer that there were plans to make him look "kosher." The plans included a caftan and a round hat. Also, his hair would have earlocks.
One day, Yakov was asked to give his fingerprints so that they could be compared to a fingerprint found on Zhenia's belt buckle. Another day, he was asked for a hair sample to be compared to some hairs discovered on Zhenia's body. Then, one morning, he was asked for a handwriting sample.
Yakov was not allowed to shave, so his beard was long now.
Twice a day, Yakov endured a body search, performed by the Deputy Warden with
assistance from Zhitnyak.
The requests for fingerprints, hair sample, and handwriting sample give
the impression that the authorities were really trying to find the guilty
party. More likely, they were trying to manipulate the evidence so that
Yakov would look guilty, or trying to give the appearance of being thorough,
or procrastinating in the hope that Yakov would eventually confess.
Yakov Bok was even more depressed than he had been. He felt that there would never be a trial.
One day, Yakov noticed a little meat and fat in the cabbage soup. That was the same day that a load of firewood reached the cell. Then, there were other improvements in his diet. But, eating more made him hungrier. He even had dreams about food.
After a week, he was no longer hungry, but that was because he was sick. The guard suggested that the cause of the sickness might be jail fever. A doctor came to the cell and said that he was not feverish. Yakov stopped eating solid food for several days. The diarrhea continued. The guard let Yakov keep a fire going throughout the day. With the bad sickness came one good. There were no body searches. Yakov had nightmares. With nightmares when asleep and sickness when awake, Yakov wanted to die. Then he got the idea that he was being poisoned. Irritated, the Deputy Warden came to his cell and told him that he was not being poisoned. He should eat. After the Deputy Warden left, the warden came to the cell and told Yakov that he knew nothing about any poison and left. He returned and told Yakov that it had been discovered that a Jew in the kitchen was poisoning his food. His compatriots wanted to stop Yakov from confessing to the crime and thereby causing problems for all Jews. Yakov did not accept that explanation.
Yakov continued refusing to eat for five more days. When, on the sixth day, the warden came back to the cell and commanded Yakov to eat, Yakov bargained. He would eat if he could go to the kitchen and take food from the common pot. The warden would not, at that time, agree, but after another day of fasting, he relented.
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Johnson, Jane. "TheBestNotes on The Fixer".
. 09 May 2017