Peace Lies Within Faith in Singer’s “Gimpel the Fool”

1494 Words Oct 17th, 2011 6 Pages
Although many people do not deserve to be trusted, it is always better to have faith in a person than assume the worst. If the worst was always assumed than no person would be trusted and there would be no peace. With his intellectuality and religiousness, Isaac Behavis Singer explores “[h]is strict religious training [that] often conflict[s] with his secular interests, in his fiction, through characters who grapple with faith and skepticism” (Wilson). Singer’s “Gimpel the Fool” is an exact representation of how he acts in his own life: faithful and religious. The thoughts and ideas used to create the plot of the story show how Singer integrates his religious life into his work. In “Gimpel the Fool”, which takes place in Frampol, a …show more content…
The fool understood why everyone called him names and laughed at him but he never changed his ways. He feels like and outcast but sucks it up. Gimpel lives his life surrounded by people who lie to him for fun, and he accepts their lies and forgives them if he doesn’t. He has gotten so wound up on believing everyone that “his credulity has no limits” (Kazin). Gimpel tells everyone he believes him or her even if he really doesn’t, just so they can be content with the fact that they tricked him. His faith in others keeps them happy, which makes him peaceful within. Using first person point of view, Singer gives the reader Gimpel’s perspective on how he realizes and knows what people say and think about him. Gimpel realizes that people call him the fool of the town and he just accepts it. Gimpel does not get mad because he even says, “I am Gimpel the Fool. I don’t think of myself a fool. On the contrary. But that’s what folks call me” (Singer). Even though he may not fully agree that he is a fool, he accepts the name and does not contradict anyone who calls him by it. Because Gimpel has conflicts with himself on if he is a fool or not, Siegel states “as [Gimpel] relates the story of his life, this denial of his foolishness seems to be the pitiful defense of his intellect by an evidently weak-witted person who at times tacitly admits that he is a fool, but a steadily deepening ambiguity plays about his narrative”

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