The Fixer

The Fixer: Biography

American author Bernard Malamud was born on April 26, 1914, in Brooklyn, New York. His parents, Max and Bertha Malamud, were Jewish immigrants from Russia. His father was a grocer. The Malamud household was simple, with little in the way of literature or art. Malamud, however, loved to read and to attend the movie theater. …

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The Fixer: Top Ten Quotes

1. “‘What’s in the world,’ Shmuel said, ‘is in the shtetl—people, their trials, worries, circumstances. But here at least God is with us.’”Page 12Shmuel is trying to convince Yakov not to forsake God and not to leave the security of the Jewish shtetl or village to which he belongs. His argument is that, as a …

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The Fixer: Themes

The Existence and Power of a GodThroughout the novel, Yakov debates the existence of God. He has never truly believed in the Jewish God, who to his mind has never cared for him, a poor man in need of help. When he reads the Old Testament, Yakov merely sees a “blustering” yet clueless God. Yakov …

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The Fixer: Characters

Father AnastasyFather Anastasy is an old priest from the Orthodox Church. He calls himself a “specialist” on Jewish religion, although most of his knowledge is incorrect. He helps Grubeshov build a case against Yakov. He and the other officials create emotional drama around the case by forcing Yakov to come face to face with Zhenia’s …

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The Fixer: Metaphors

The Color BlackIn The Fixer, the color black appears repeatedly, as an ominous motif signifying Yakov’s ill-starred future. When Yakov leaves the shtetl, night comes upon him and he is surrounded by a “black sea full of strange voices,” a mix of his own Yiddish superstitions and the non-Jewish voices of the world he is …

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