Gimpel’s story is quite contradictory and provocative as it arouses a tough question: can wrong social opinion prove a person to be a fool? My personal persuasion is that a person is wiser than society. The aim of this essay is to analyze Gimpel’s behavior through the story and give arguments supporting the fact he is a wise man.
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The story starts with the author’s declaration of his foolishness. However, he does not wish to agree with that. Illustrating numerous incidents that happened to him in his childhood Gimpel reveals the antagonistic gap between himself and his environment that tries to prove he is a fool by playing tricks and deceiving him. Meanwhile Gimpel shows the readers a totally opposite side of his character – a sensitive, tolerant and naïve soul. Definitely, he accepts too much in good faith (believing his parents have risen from the grave, etc.), though he simply acknowledges the likelihood of anything. May be there is still a place in his heart longing for a miracle or even being a child he is wise enough to see the truth which becomes obvious to him much later: “It happens to one if it doesn't happen to another, tomorrow if not today, or a century hence if not next year”. At the same time when it comes to more serious things, such as accepting a bastard newborn or his wife’s obvious treason Gimpel is strong and wise enough to “close his eyes” by inventing reliable explanations to everything: he is ready to believe the child is immature or that he hallucinates just to for the sake of a quiet and happy life. Moreover, when his eyes open after Elka’s confession, Gimpel once more presents a tremendously strong character and refuses from vengeance – he simply leaves everybody in the town to start a totally new life full of adventures. Is it not wise after all?
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