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Singer s Gimpel the Fool is written in first person point of view, and the narrator, Gimpel, is the main character in the story. In the opening paragraph in the story Singer shows how reliable of a narrator that Gimpel is. Gimpel shares many of the nicknames he has had given to him in school, including imbecile, donkey, flax-head, dope, glum, ninny, and fool. He then says that he was considered a fool because he was easily taken in. He gave an example of one of the situations that earned him that title. They said, Gimpel, you know the rabbi s wife has been brought to childbed?
So I skipped school. Well, it turned out to be a lie. How was I supposed to? She hadn t had a big belly.
But I never really looked at her belly. Gimpel shows a great deal of honesty because he explains every situation the way that he sees it. He does not even try to make it sound as if it was even hard to fool him. He just told it the exact way that it took place. The people in the town told him a lie and he didn t even question it; he just believed it.
He does not try to make the lie sound anymore believable than it was either; he is very honest and straightforward. He also gives insight on his thought process, which is very open. 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 and reliable character. The writer makes the reader feel sorry for Gimpel with the stories of the other kids being mean to him in school. That combined with his rigorous honesty, you find yourself sympathizing for Gimpel. Throughout the story, Gimpel is seen as the victim because he is an innocent person who is always being laughed at due to his foolishness. Gimpel never realizes that he is the victim because he never feels that people take advantage of him.
He is always aware that people are lying, but he still believes them because he knows that everything is possible in the world, and that strange things can happen. Gimpel proves to be smart because he later becomes the wealthiest man in the village. Gimpel is far from being a fool. The only fools are the villagers who spent all their lives trying to make Gimpel seem like a fool.
Gimpel never argues with the people, instead he only listens to their stupid lies. After all, lies can come true. He only fools in this story are all the villagers. In the eyes of the villagers Gimpel was a fool, but in the eyes of God he was wise.
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