Analysis of Gimple the Fool

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Although Gimpel did not die a fool he lived his life primarily as a fool. Singer’s use of “Gimpel the Fool” demonstrated two lower levels of the human scale. The first is the coward’s ability to justify to himself the reasoning behind his behavior. The second is the crowd’s ability to pick out the weakling and exploit him for their own amusement. Gimpel proved he was a fool by all that he did. He allowed himself to be cornered, prodded, and teased yet he never stood up for himself or what he knew to be the truth. He was forced into a life created for the merriment of the villagers and refused to live a life made by him (100). Further he was guilty of blindly loving a woman who would never treat him as a human being. Gimpel did not think of himself as a fool but every reaction betrayed his lie to himself. Gimpel did not make his own way through life and allowed others to persuade his every thoughts. When the voice of reason or logic presented itself, Gimpel chose to ignore common sense. Gimpel was a fool despite his self-denial. As a necessity of his community Gimpel served the purpose of bread maker and as in all societies he served also as the scapegoat. Gimpel could have been an integral part of his society but instead he was untrue to himself and he was lost. The townspeople treated Gimpel much like the court jesters of the renaissance period, turning the baker into the village harlequin. Although the target of many pranks and antics, they were not directed at him for intentional harm. He was the target though due to his accessibility and convenience. Instead of seeking Gimpel out for his talents as the baker, Gimpel’s neighbors sought him out to entertain themselves by ridiculing his naïve nature. The baker was not naïve and when the town’s people came with their lies and pranks, Gimpel knew what they were saying was not true (99). The village jester chose to be laughed at as opposed to cause...
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