Free Study Guide for The Fixer by Bernard Malamud|
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THE FIXER - FREE BOOK NOTES
Yakov's life had no variations. One day was like the others. They were all the same. He thought back to his earlier days in the cell and wished that, at the time he was living them, he had appreciated them more.
Yakov decided to cause the wardens and guards to kill him. He wanted to die.
But, he wanted them to be responsible for his death. He would refuse to
undress, and then spit on the Deputy Warden. If that wasn't enough, he
would attempt to get a hold of the Deputy Warden's gun. Surely, that would
be enough. No matter how they described it, they would not be able to
say that he had been found guilty.
The needle that was found had been hidden by Yakov in Chapter VI, 4.
That night Yakov awakens from a dream and finds that Kogin has stopped pacing in the hallway and is at his cell door. Kogin wants to talk about his children, mostly about his son who has recently been sentenced to twenty years of labor in Siberia for murdering an old man.
Kogin offers Yakov a cigarette. That would be a minor infraction of the rules. Yakov asks him to release his legs, but Kogin will not do that. That would be enough to get Kogin shot. Kogin wonders whether Yakov still has the gospels in the cell. Then, he asks him if he can remember any of them. Yakov cannot.
Yakov goes back to his dream. He dreams of Shmuel in a coffin. After he awakens from the dream, he asks Shmuel to let him die for him instead.
The next day, during the sixth search, Yakov decides that he should not die. For one reason, no one would find out about it. For another, Jews would never be cleared of the accusation that one of them had killed Zhenia Golov.
Yakov's plan now is to have a trial.
Kogin learns that his son drowned on the way to the Siberian prison.
This part is written in the present tense. Most of the rest of the book is written in the past tense.
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Johnson, Jane. "TheBestNotes on The Fixer".
. 09 May 2017