Comparison Of Forrest Gump And Gimpel The Fool

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Gimpel the Fool is a short story by Isaac Bashevis Singer which explores the idea of the holy fool or wise fool, an archetype of literature that is written about quite frequently. Another work that examines this archetype is that of the Academy award winning movie, Forrest Gump. These two works share many similarities that point out important characteristics of society and human interactions which are made most poignantly by Gimpel and Forrest’s content attitude, veiled virtue, and profound wisdom. Gimpel and Forrest often seem to be foils of the characters around them. Although there is a distinct lack of intelligence in Forrest’s case and an excessive disposition to quickly believe others in Gimpel’s, their lives turn out to be considerably…show more content…
He was from a family that held the prestigious honor of having “fought and died in every single American war.” When Lt. Dan is saved from certain death in the Vietnam War and later has his legs amputated as a result, he is miserable and questions the very existence of God as exemplified by his categorization of the phenomenon of God listening to his problems as a “crock of [expletive].” Later, he even dares God to take his life as a storm strikes Jenny, their shipping boat. Forrest recounts how “he was scared,” but how “Lieutenant Dan was mad” as he looked toward heaven and taunted God to “come and get me.” Yet in light of Lieutenant Dan’s reckless abandon, Forrest exhibits a desire to preserve his live. Moreover, Forrest illustrates his contentment with life through his disregard of material possession and wealth much like Gimpel. Gimpel, “considered to be something of a rich man,” suddenly took off “into the world” armed only with his “short coat, a pair of boot,” and other commodities after…show more content…
In response to the horrible mistreatment of Elka and her bastard child, Gimpel resolved to do nothing, claiming that “shoulders are from God, and burdens too.” His wisdom, however, is his determination to believe despite the consequences because “what’s the good of not believing?” Finally, at the end of his journey, Gimpel displays profound wisdom by finally realizing that “no doubt the world is entirely an imaginary world, but it is only once re- moved from the true world,” which illustrates his commitment to continue believing no matter what. In a similar way, Forrest is very wise in a way that the characters around him do not realize. For example, his acceptance of his mama’s sayings as truth and his ability to allow these sayings to work as a positive force against all the negative forces in his life illustrates his wise core. When he first meets Jenny Curran, she asks him bluntly if he is stupid. He quotes his mother and replies that “stupid is as stupid does.” He repeats this saying three times in the whole movie. The audience can see, however, that although Forrest does not have the highest of IQ’s, he is most definitely not stupid. His actions prove otherwise. Despite his low intelligence, Forrest pushes forward, keeping promises and finding love. Jenny, on the other hand, is of sound mind, yet is forever finding herself in all kinds of
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