Gimpel The Fool
Thesis: Although Gimpel appeared to be a fool, he was really a wise man. I. Introduction A. Thesis II. Gimpel – ;A Fool A. Tricks played on him ...
GIMPEL THE FOOL Through clever characterization, underlying symbolism, and an in-depth point of view, the short story "Gimpel the Fool", written by Isaac Bashevis Singer, clearly reinforces the age-old concept that repentance, along with good deeds, will ultimately be rewarded in time. Gimpel's whole-hearted yet gullible characterization weaves an important pattern in the story's meaning. The deeply embedded religious connotation and use of dynamic symbols both aid in allowing the reader to pick out the lesson learned in the story. With the help of the first person point of view, the reader can better understand the main character and his thought processes, tying all three fictional elements together to help the reader interpret the true significance of the story. Singer uses a couple of different ways to create the character Gimpel. Although Gimpel appears to be a fool, he is really a wise man and can even be characterized as a saint. He shows he is wise by loving the children that are not his, is an avid believer in his religion, and is not swayed by the temptations of the Devil. First of all he uses what other characters say about him and do to him. The other kids at school say he is a fool, and take advantage of him for their own entertainment. This is not used to make him into a foolish character, but rather a victim, a sympathetic character. He has an honest personality as well, and it shines through when introduces himself to us at the beginning. He doesn't even try to make it sound as if it was even hard to fool him. He just tells it the exact way that it took place ;they told him a lie and he didn't even question it, he just believed it. "In the first place, everything is possible, as it is written in the Wisdom of the Fathers." He doesn't try to make the lie sound anymore believable than it was either ;he is very honest and straightforward. He also gives you insight on his thought process, which is very open and unguarded. After his second example of "foolishness" Gimpel says, "I was no weakling. If I slapped someone he'd see all the way to Cracow. But I'm really not a slugger by nature. I think to myself, 'Let it pass.' So they take advantage of me." These are not words of a fool, but they are words of a very trusting, wise, and reliable character. Next, Gimpel's descriptions of himself do a big part of creating his character. In the opening lines he says, "I don't think myself a fool. On the contrary." And to support that, in the last few sentences, he acknowledges the fact that the kids are taking advantage of him. It really makes Gimpel out to be not a fool, but into some kind of martyr. He may look and act like a fool because of his innocence and naivete, but it's his good heart that makes him never want to let anyone suffer, not even himself. The rejection of the devil is shown by his beliefs in God, along with the references of him visiting and consulting his rabbi and paying respect and homage to his church. Also his good and understanding heart, and the fact that he forgives everyone of what they did to him, reveals his god-like temperament. The fact that he learns of his wife's unfaithfulness and that his children are bastards and not his own and still supports and loves them undoubtedly reveals another one of his saint-like characteristics Thirdly, the actions of the narrator, him being a nonviolent person, make him out to be above that kind of behavior, which doesn't make Gimpel a fool at all. It makes the townspeople the fools. The main reason why Gimpel is portrayed as a fool is because the fantastic stories like "Gimpel, there is a fair in heaven", "Gimpel, the rabbi gave birth to a calf in the seventh month", and "Gimpel, a cow flew over the roof and laid brass eggs" that the townspeople are constantly telling him
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