While separated from Elka, Gimpel becomes friendly with an apprentice at the bakery. The apprentice lives near Elka and helps ferry food to her and the children, since the rabbi has forbidden Gimpel to visit them. Originally, Gimpel disliked the apprentice, who was not the most respectful to him, liking to have fun at his expense. But once they start seeing more of each other, Gimpel decides that the apprentice is actually a very pleasant and generous person, and that he must have judged him too quickly. Understandably, Gimpel feels deeply betrayed when, after finally being allowed to return home to Elka, he finds the apprentice in bed with her. What is worse still, later that night, after the apprentice has gone home, Elka insists to Gimpel that he imagined the whole thing. The next day, the apprentice assists with the gaslighting, opining that Gimpel must “have a screw loose.”
The Apprentice Character Timeline in Gimpel the Fool
The timeline below shows where the character The Apprentice appears in Gimpel the Fool. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.