Elie Wiesel Nobel Prize Speech Analysis

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Choosing sides always comes into play when regarding social and moral injustices. In “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Harper Lee experiments with neutrality and prejudices in Maycomb County pertaining to the oppressor and the oppressed. Similar to Elie Wiesel’s Nobel Peace Prize speech in 1986, where he justifies that it takes more courage and bravery to fight for something you don’t have to.
In 1986 Elie Wiesel, a holocaust survivor and humanitarian, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. After receiving the award he delivered a speech titled “Hope, Despair and Memory”. Wiesel’s speech focused on the importance of remembering history and ideas concerning discrimination and injustice. Wiesel uses rhetoric in his speech to show his first hand experience, facts, and help the audience remember the importance of history. In his speech he states, “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim, Silence encourages the tormentor, never the
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In Wiesel’s speech, he states that it is time, “...to decide once and for all to put an end to hatred of anyone who is "different" - whether black or white, Jew or Arab, Christian or Moslem - anyone whose orientation differs politically, philosophically, sexually.” (Wiesel 1986). This differs from “To Kill a Mockingbird”, because the story of Scout, Jem and Atticus ends, but Maycomb as a whole was left with tension after Tom Robinson’s trial, and still holding on to the past. After Robinson is found guilty, Scout goes back to school and learns about democracy and persecution relating to Hitler’s politics. Her teacher says, “Over here we don’t believe in persecuting anybody. Persecution comes from people who are prejudiced” (Lee 248). This is symbolic because people who live in Maycomb have no problem pointing out other peoples flaws, but refuse to recognize that they inhabit those same flaws as
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