I too vote for Fyedka, because he is in the end a mensch
- a decent human being. Even before he met Chava, Fyedka was clearly respected among other young Russians; witness the way he shooed away Sasha and others who had accosted Chava. Clearly he meant business, none of them hung around to question or argue with him. In the end he sent 2 very strong messages: "Hey Mr. Tsar, you're asking the wrong boy to do your dirty work! That's my wife's family - my
family - you're kicking out of their house and home!" And to Tevye: "You're not brushing me off that easily! We're all children of the same God, even if we worship Him in different ways!" In the end Tevye relented partially, muttering "God be with you!", relayed by Tzeitel; that left the door open for a possible future reconciliation.
Fyedka's polar opposite is the Constable - the one Russian Tevye always trusted as a friend, but who was the source of his ultimate betrayal. The Constable was in the end almost totally unprincipled, putting self-preservation above his friendship with Tevye. He tipped off Tevye to the upcoming "little unofficial demonstration" - which turned out to be the trashing of Tzeitel's wedding reception; all he could offer were lame excuses like "orders are orders". At the eviction, he tried to deny any personal responsibility for the order. Like anyone in the Tsar's service, the Constable had little choice but to follow orders (in the movie, just before the wedding, a visiting superior coldly threatened to replace him). Like everyone, he was ultimately answerable to his conscience for his actions, or inactions. That principle was clearly established at the Nürnberg war crimes trails of the 1940s, along with the principle that merely following orders blindly is no excuse for atrocities.
The Fyedka-Constable contrast points up a sub-theme of Fiddler: certain human traits, good or bad, can cut right across cultural, ethnic, and religious lines. Also, it might prompt a related question: Who is your least
favorite Fiddler character?