The Fixer by Bernard Malamud

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The Fixer is a deterministic novel. Through out the story the Fixer runs into many problems, all of which are either a direct result of, or due to a domino affect of either chance, genetic limits, or instinct. It all started when he helped the old man that had fallen in the street. Because of his natural instinct to help someone in need, he then got a job, and an illegal place to live in. The only reason that his living in that part of the city was illegal was due to the fact that he was Jewish, which is something that is limited to his genetics. Then there was chance. It was mere chance that a boy was killed within the vicinity of his home. It was also chance that they found the powder, and that he had chased that same boy earlier in to story. All of the evidence against the Fixer was due to complete chance.

The Fixer was Jewish by birth, and not by choice. He renounced his religion, and separated himself from it as completely as possible. Yet, it was because of his religion that he was accused of murdering the boy. It was because of his religion that he was guilty of living illegally in his home.

Chance also played a big part in the Fixer's demise. He bought flower for cooking that was used in the baking of Jewish bread. He let an old Jewish man into his home, while someone was watching. He happened to live within the vicinity of the murder, and he also just happened to chase that same boy after he found him in the brickyard.

If any one of these things had not occurred the Fixer would have continued living his life as a free man. But due to things beyond his power, his life crumpled around him. His life was controlled by a higher power, that had their own higher plan.