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Critical Analysis of Gimpel the Fool

Through clever characterization, underlying symbolism, and an in-depth point of view, the short story "Gimpel the Fool", written by Isaac Bashevis Singer, clearly reinforces the age-old concept that repentance, along with good deeds, will ultimately be rewarded in time. Gimpel's whole-hearted yet gullible characterization weaves an important pattern in the story's meaning. The deeply embedded religious connotation and use of dynamic symbols both aid in allowing the reader to pick out the lesson learned in the story. With the help of the first person point of view, the reader can better understand the main character and his thought processes, tying all three fictional elements together to help the reader interpret the true significance of the story.
Singer uses a couple of different ways to create the character Gimpel. Although Gimpel appears to be a fool, he is really a wise man and can even be characterized as a saint. He shows he is wise by loving the children that are not his, is an avid believer in his religion, and is not swayed by the temptations of the Devil. First of all he uses what other characters say about him and do to him. The other kids at school say he is a fool, and take advantage of him for their own entertainment. This is not used to make him into a foolish character, but rather a victim, a sympathetic character. He has an honest personality as well, and it shines through when introduces himself to us at the beginning. He doesn't even try to make it sound as if it was even hard to fool him. He just tells it the exact way that it took place; they told him a lie and he didn't even question it, he just believed it. "In the first place, everything is possible, as it is written in the Wisdom of the Fathers." He doesn't try to make the lie sound anymore believable than it was either; he is very honest and straightforward. He also gives you insight on his thought process, which is very open and unguarded. After his...

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