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Gimpel the Fool

Gimpel the Fool

The main character in the short story ‘Gimpel the Fool’ by the name Gimpel is used by the writer to pass a number of lessons to the community. In real sense, Gimpel, who is depicted as a fool right from the story’s name, is not a fool but instead a man who is wise and from whom people can learn important lessons. Although he is portrayed like a fool and even the kids at school call him a fool and take advantage of him, there are actions which prove that he is wise indeed.

Right from the beginning, Gimpel refuses to admit that he is a fool as people called him. Even with the many names given to him, he finds not enough reasons for this. He knows himself really well, his personality and identity and what people say about him does not dictate his persona. Gimpel is not made a fool by his behavior of being naïve and his sense of innocence but this, instead, brings him out as sufferer for a cause in the story. Gimpel portrays a character of honesty and faithfulness at the start especially when his friends and the market people fool him so easily. He admits the fact that he was tricked and does not twist the story to justify himself on it though it was not hard for the people to convince him that is a clear indicator of wisdom and a reliable person in the society.

Another reason that proves that Gimpel is wise is his ability to forgive those who rub the wrong way. A good example is his wife, who has been unfaithful to their marriage covenant and has been committing infidelity. To make the matters worse, his wife admits this and confesses that even the children had been born out of wedlock and, instead of buttering and divorcing her for good, Gimpel forgives her despite the shame of living with an unfaithful wife. Moreover, Gimpel goes to the synagogue in order to invoke a blessing for Elka, and gives the child born out of wedlock in the name of his mother in-law which can only be done by a wise person.   

Moreover, Gimpel refrains from whistling in the night because he knows that this invokes the demons in the dark world of spirits. He does not act brutally against the town people even in their evil ways. Indeed, this story is rich in values and beneficial to the readers if read carefully.



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