Books and Movies Reviews

gimpel the fool

A very common belief is that is is better to be a fool for a lifetime than a bad person for a day. The idea behind this is fairly simple: innocence is better than evil. Gimpel, despite his intelligence is an innocent man; he is trusting, unquestioning, and easy to fool.
Gimpel is the town goof ball. Every established place of living has one, from Homer Simpson to Dennis Rodman. Gimpel is the one people turn to for fun. When they feel let down, they simply need to say, “Ha! At least I’m not Gimpel!” and all is well.
Gimpel is an integral part of society in many aspects. Every culture also has their wandering sages and wise man on the mountain. Gimpel becomes this in the end. Gimpel, of course, was never really a fool. He was a religious man, and believed whatever he was told not because he was a fool but because he never for a moment doubted the power of his god.
At the same time, Gimpel played the part of the town’s general wimp. He married the town slut/whore, and though he never slept with her, has many children. He stood by for years and watched as she cheated on him religiously. Gimpel looked the other way, fearing confrontation.
Gimpel’s place in society is everywhere. He was many things to many people. He was also the town nice guy, constantly stepped on and always the butt of local jokes. Gimpel was comic relief for the entire town.
Gimpel, it seems, is not the town fool, but the town’s one truly good individual. Even the town’s Rabbi’s laughed at Gimpel. Even when Gimpel had his chance to retaliate, in the end he chose not to. This is the sign of a good, strong, secure man.
Another sign that Gimpel was his town’s true good man is that in the end, he helped change people. His wife saw the folly of her ways and prevented Gimpel from committing his one dark deed. Despite all her wrongdoings to him, in the end he still loves her, as well.
Gimpel’s intelligence shines through in the end, as well. He says, “No doubt the…

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