Gimpel the Fool




Thesis: Although Gimpel appeared to be a fool, he was really a wise man.

I. Introduction
A. Thesis

II. Gimpel – A Fool
A. Tricks played on him by towns people
B. Marriage to Elka

III. Gimpel – A Wise Man
A. Love of children
B. Religious beliefs
C. Rejection of devil’s influence

IV. Type of Story

V. Conclusion
A. Restate thesis























“Gimpel the Fool” is a story of laughter and sadness. Gimpel was a boy that had a reputation of being a fool since his early age. People were always playing tricks at him. Although Gimpel appeared to be a fool, he was really a wise man. He showed he was a wise man by loving the children that were not his, being a believer in his religion and by not taking advice from the Devil.
There are many ways in which Gimpel appeared to be a fool. First the young men of the village spent a great deal of time making fun of poor Gimpel (Kazin 353). It appeared that he was taken in by their stories to an extreme degree. Even as he went about his employment in the bakery, the townspeople continued to tell Gimpel fantastic tales that became more and more fantastic (Siegel 366). An example of people making fun of him was the following:
“Gimpel, there is a fair in heaven; Gimpel, the rabbi gave birth to a calf in the seventh month; Gimpel, a cow flew over the roof and laid brass eggs. Gimpel, while you stand here scraping with your baker’s shovel the Messiah has come. The death heaven arisen. What do your mean? Gimpel said. I heard no one blowing the ram’s horn! The kid said. Are you deaf? And all began to cry, We heard it, we heard! Gimpel, your father and mother have stood up from the grave. They are looking for you” (Singer 79). Because Gimpel believed everything that everyone told him he became the foolish boy of the town. The reason why Gimpel believed what people told him was that all of these stories were kind of real to him. Each story of each person would reveal any want and desires that they might have in their “psyche”. That was why the story was so easily to invent (Giemer 850).
The worst trick that the townspeople did to him was the marriage to Elka. Elka was the town’s slut. She already had a child that she said was her brother. Gimpel, being the fool that everyone knew, believed every word that she said (Geimer 850). Then Gimpel marries Elka without knowing all her real story. Even though the people of the town knew the trusth no one told him anything. In addition, on their wedding day a guy brought a crib because Elka was pregnant with another child from another man that was not Gimpel (Kazin 353). When they started living together Elka did not allow Gimpel to use the same bed with her. After four month, Elka appears with another baby (Geimer 850). She tells Gimpel that the baby was premature. Then Gimpel tells her “Is he not a little too premature.” However the thing was that Gimpel never slept with her so he must not have how babies were formed (Singer 82). Another thing was that Elka was always with other men instead of Gimpel. At one time Gimpel caught her with another man, but she denied everything. Elka “swore and cursed” him. But he continued with her even though she was not faithful to him.
In many ways Gimpel was a wise man. The love of the children was very important to Gimpel. He always thought that there were his. When Elka became sick she told Gimpel the truth that the kids were not his and she was never faithful to Gimpel (Geimer850-851). This was Gimpel’s reaction:

“What is there to forgive? You have been a good and faithful wife. Woe, Gimpel! She said. It was ugly how I deceived you all these years. I want to go clean to my Maker, and so I have to tell you that the children are not yours.”
After he knew that the children were not his, he did not disown them. He continued to treat them the same. When he went