Gimpel the Fool Essay

1287 Words Oct 28th, 2011 6 Pages
With magnificent characterization and an outstanding point of view, the story "Gimpel the Fool", written by Isaac Bashevis Singer, clearly strengthens the age-old thought that repentance and good deeds will be rewarded with time. Gimpel's passionate yet innocent characterization play an important part in the story's meaning. The use of religious association and the use of forceful symbols aid the reader to choose the lesson learned in the work. Written in first person, we can easily understand the main character’s point of view. Helping the reader understand better the story using the three fictional elements: Plotting, Character, and Place or Setting.
Singer utilizes various ways to describe the character “Gimpel”.
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During the story, some normal figures can be characterized in much more in-depth and symbolic values. For example, when Gimpel chooses to leave Frampol. His leaving can be understood on two levels. The first is obvious, that he needs a change of setting or just he wants to get away. When looking at it closely, it symbolizes a cleansing he is experiencing, an emotional revitalization and that he is no longer a fool that everyone can taken advantage of. "I wandered all over the land, and good people did not neglect me" (Singer, 2004, p. 286). At the end of the story, outsiders are accepting him, something he had not felt during his whole life. "It is many years since I left Frampol, but as soon as I shut my eyes again I am there. And whom do you think I see? Elka. I weep and implore, 'Let me be with you,' and she consoles me and tells me to be patient. The time is nearer than far." Here, Gimsel describes how Elka, a enthusiastically changing character throughout the story, is also accepting him. She is characterized as a dishonest but regretful sinner. Gimsel somehow saves her soul by being considerate, tolerant and showing her love. The illegitimate children represent Gimsel’s dishonest wife and her sins. When he learns the children are not his he still cares for them and distribute his fortune among them. Gimpel is truly and compassionate by forgiving Elka for all her sins.

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