Free Study Guide for The Fixer by Bernard Malamud|
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STUDY GUIDE FOR THE FIXER BY BERNARD MALAMUD
Bibikov is one person who believes that Yakov is innocent of the crime
of which he is accused. He is the Investigating Magistrate for Cases of
Extraordinary Importance. He wants the person who is really guilty of
the crime of which Yakov is accused to be found. He has no interest in
creating a scapegoat. Bibikov is one of the few characters in the story
who provides us, the readers, with accurate information.
The Deputy Warden is the antagonist of the story. He is very cruel, crueler than the warden is. He personifies what is wrong with Yakovís accusers.
We, the readers, first read about what happened on the day that Zhenia Golovís body was found. Then, the author takes us back five months and tells us about that earlier time. At the end of Chapter II we are again at the time when Zheniaís body was found. From the end of Chapter II onward, the tale is chronological.
Secondary to the main plot is the story of the relationship of Yakov and Raisl.
Another minor plot is the story of who really killed Zinaida.
Bernard Malamud was a Jewish writer, but he was also a writer for all
of mankind. In the Jewish experience he saw the human experience and wrote
accordingly. Malamud wrote about seemingly unimportant people, but, he
showed that they were in actuality very important.
The rising action takes place between the inciting moment and the climax,
between the arrest of Yakov Bok for the murder of Zhenia Golov and the
time when he writes on the confession he has been given to sign that what
is on the confession is a lie.
The falling action takes place between the climax and the outcome or
denouement, between when Yakov writes that the confession that he has
been given to sign is a lie and when Yakov is taken via carriage to his
The Fixer is written in the third-person limited point of view. The story-teller can see into only the mind of Yakov Bok.
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Johnson, Jane. "TheBestNotes on The Fixer".
. 09 May 2017