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Gimpel the Fool is a well-known Yiddish short tale that criticizes a singer's short story. This is the most well-known collection of short stories. The plot follows the life of Gimpel, a wise dupe who discovers later intense truths about wickedness, passion, and moral faith. The story gives the impression that Gimpel, the writer, is an idiot. This is shown when he declares that he is considered an idiot, despite the fact that he does not consider himself to be one. He claims that people regard him as a fool for a variety of reasons, including the fact that he is easily duped. Gimpel being considered as a fool does not make him a fool. People think that he is easy to take in but according to him, he is not a fighter, he reasons thus ignoring them. This contradicts the whole insinuation of the people of seeing him as a fool. In an actual sense, it is Gimpel who treats people like fools because he first understands their foolishness and decides to ignore. So, the main question that should be asked is, between the people and the Gimpel who is the fool (www.enotes.com).
People near Gimpel have considered him as a fool. This can be seen from various incidents which have happened in the life of Gimpel, and those who surround him take advantage of that. To start with Gimpel was an orphan and he was raised by his grandfather who is seemingly very old. The age of the grandfather prevents from being able to fully support the grandson thus Gimpel being forced to become a baker. This is a local occupation which the villagers considers worthless to their eyes thus giving them a chance to fool him at least once. An example is seeing when Rietze who is a candle dipper mocks him by telling him that his parents had risen from the grave and they were looking for him.
Another incident that makes the villagers term Gimpel as a fool is on the issue of his wife. Gimpel has a wife known as Elka who after their wedding she refuses to let Gimpel into their bed. Despite the fact that she is not sleeping together with Gimpel she gives birth a baby boy after four months of the marriage. Everyone in the village understands that Gimpel is not the father and this makes them laugh at him. Gimpel confronts Elka who later insist that the child is his only that he is immature. The schoolmaster confirms that the claim by Elka can be possible for it happened to Adam and Eve (www.enotes.com).
Also, Gimpel happens to go home one night unexpectedly during the week and to his astonishment he finds a man sleeping close to his wife. He is forced to go back to the bakery to avoid waking up the child. When he goes to seek for assistance from the rabbi, he is advised to divorce his wife thought he objects the idea.
Looking at the above incidences, there are aspects of calling Gimpel a fool. The reason behind this is that not many people especially men who can stand what Gimpel does. When one analyses the happenings outwardly, it is easier to claim that this man is a fool. But when the situations are looked at another angle, one realizes that Gimpel was not a fool he just a man who reasons, understand and is full of tolerance.
The above statement can be supported fully by various things that we read from a short story which the villagers do not understand. Some of these incidences include when people fool him while working as a baker. Rietze mocks about his parents rising and by him going outside to look him to understand by just looking he stands to lose nothing. He is godly, so he seeks advice form rabbi and later understands that it is the villagers who are foolish.
The issue of Gimpel wife refusing him into their bed and later getting a baby is just funny to the villagers. People seem to like a fool, but in a real sense, this man is filled with love. Gimpel has more love for the child which helps him even forget his sorrows. So what compels Gimpel to Elka is the love that he has for the child. Gimpel also longs for his wife and the child such that when he gets the wife cheating, he forgives her. Gimpel had a chance to divorce the wife as it was a recommendation from the rabbi of whom Gimpel trusted so much though he still does not divorce her (www.enotes.com).
Gimpel is not a fool as many may say. This is a man who has particular faith that he trusts and adheres to so much. Gimpel prefers faith over cynicism which can be seen as mediation between the powers of adore and the spiritual conviction. These are the two things controlling Gimpel and that it the reason as to why Gimpel can stand things that many people cannot be able to stand. Gimpel is a different man who has a different faith and spiritual grounds which makes him not the fool in this particular case.
“Gimpel the Fool, Isaac Bashevis Singer.”Enotes.com, Enotes.com, www.enotes.com/topics/gimpel-fool/critical-essays/gimpel-fool-isaac-bashevis-singer.
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