Elie Wiesel Rhetorical Speech Analysis Elie Wiesel, a holocaust survivor and winner of a Nobel peace prize, stood up on April 12, 1999 at the White House to give his speech, “The Perils of Indifference”. In Wiesel’s speech he was addressing to the nation, the audience only consisted of President Clinton, Mrs. Clinton, congress, and other officials. The speech he gave was an eye-opener to the world in his perspective. Wiesel uses a variety of rhetorical strategies and devices to bring lots of emotion and to educate the indifference people have towards the holocaust. “You fight it.
One striking question he asks is “what about the children? Oh, we see them on television, we read about them in the papers, and we do so with a broken heart”, implying that the audience is willing to read and be informed about suffering but refuses to take action (Wiesel 4). Wiesel wants the audience to feel uncomfortable and unsatisfied with their personal actions.. By asking tough questions he is challenging the audience to reflect and change the way they look at suffering. Making a change from the inside is the most effective way to convince people to take action, as Wiesel clearly knows and takes advantage of. Wiesel appeals to the audience’s sense of duty, by first attacking them with an appeal to emotion.
Wiesel uses unsettling images with the intent to control the audience’s moral compass. Images of children dying “every minute” of “disease, violence, [and] famine” strike the audience with discomfort and a desire to end the agony which the kids feel (Wiesel). Similarly, Wiesel himself details the “most tragic of all prisoners” within his concentration camp, who “were dead and did not know it” (Wiesel). The pictures of unimaginable horror are powerful enough to force reality upon the audience and leave them with the need to support actions of change. Guilt also arises from Wiesel’s statement that “it is so much easier to look away from victims” (Wiesel).
In the speech, titled “The Perils of Indifference,” Elie Wiesel showed gratitude to the American people, President Clinton, and Mrs. Hillary Clinton for the help they brought and apprised the audience about the violent consequences and human suffering due to indifference against humanity (Wiesel). This speech was persuasive. It was also effective because it conveyed to the audience the understanding of
Wiesel’s speech shows how he worked to keep the memory of those people alive because he knows that people will continue to be guilty, to be accomplices if they forget. Furthermore, Wiesel knows that keeping the memory of those poor, innocent will avoid the repetition of the atrocity done in the future. The stories and experiences of Wiesel allowed for people to see the true horrors of what occurs when people who keep silence become “accomplices” of those who inflict pain towards humans. To conclude, Wiesel chose to use parallelism in his speech to emphasize the fault people had for keeping silence and allowing the torture of innocent
Elie Wiesel’s somber speech, “The Perils of Indifference”, demonstrated the harsh reality of the numerous evils harvesting in the world. The main evil though was simply indifference, or a lack of concern. As a young Jewish boy, he faced the wickedness of the Holocaust, imprisoned at Buchenwald and Auschwitz and also losing both his parents and younger sister. The speaker saw atrocious horrors and suffered for a prolonged amount of time. Why was this permitted?
“Every encounter filled us with joy—yes, joy…” (Wiesel, 35) Eliezer had already adapted to his situation, using the word joy to describe the meeting. “In the afternoon, we cheerfully went to clear the ruins.” (Wiesel, 61) The above quote is a perfect example of how Eliezer continually adjusts his meaning of ‘happiness’ and takes nothing for granted. “But we no longer feared death, in any event not this particular death. Every bomb that hit filled us with joy, gave us renewed confidence.” (Wiesel, 60) In reality, freedom is still far away. Eliezer and the other inmates believe freedom is close; a loss of innocence would have meant a loss of hope.
In Elie Wiesel’s, The Perils of Indifference he tells us what he recalls and what he seen as a Jewish boy growing up. He expresses how he was thankful for American soldiers’ rage and care that helped in his freedom, and how he’s so thankful to the President
Elie Wiesel is a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust and a Nobel Prize winner. Elie Wiesel delivered once again one of his famous speeches the “The Perils of Indifference”, which was hosted by the White House and accompanied by the President of the United States Barrack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton and other fellow government officials. When Elie Wiesel was giving out his speech, Elie Wiesel was warning the American people or the millenniums of the dangers of indifference, using his own personal experience to influence the millenniums and American people. Elie Wiesel “The Perils of Indifference,” also, is one of the influential speeches because he uses his own personal experience. For instance, Elie Wiesel states “Rooted in our tradition, some of us felt that to be abandoned by humanity then was not the ultimate.
He moved in January 1945 to Buchenwald in a cattle car. After he got out of the camps he later went to become an amazing writer and inspiring speaker. He wrote in his book about all the things that he experienced and wished he could have changed things. “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” Wiesel is saying that if your silent then the oppressor thinks it’s ok to keep being mean.