Bontsha and Gimpel

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Faith is believed to be one of the most important elements attached to the life of a human being. Faith brings meaning to life. It is the essence that ties a person to life no matter the struggle encountered. Whenever some one looses faith in the people of their society, all he has felt is a religious believe which can be translated into “faith in God(s)”. In the stories “Bontsha the Silent” and “Gimpel the Fool” by Isaac Loeb Peretz and Isaac Bashevis Singer respectively, the protagonists are victims of tremendous sufferings, where faith is the only way out. However, the faith focused by both authors differ somewhat. Peretz prioritizes faith in the divine, while Singer elaborates faith in man around their protagonists. First, in his tale “Bontsha the Silent”, Peretz seems to suggest that a person who has lost faith in man ought to have, at least, faith God. One must not go without faith just because he had run into some sort of difficulty or been victim of injustice during his life. Peretz expresses his believe through the main character, Bontsha. He describes Bontsha as the most unfortunate imaginable human being on earth and yet never complaining about his adversity. Ever since the first day Bontsha was born, no one has cared of him. He was born with silence and passed away with silence. During his lifetime, he had to haul heavy loads stumbling at each step and begged for the pennies that were rightfully his, and even then, sometimes he did not get paid. Further, he knew he had been taken advantage of, and still, he remained silent. Once he had run into luck by saving a man’s life who then made him a coachman and married him off. But his luck did not last for long, as his great benefactor and philanthropist went into bankruptcy and never got what he had earned. Peretz develops his character in such way implying that perhaps Bontsha had so much faith in God that he did not care any of his sufferings; he

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