The Perils Of Indifference Rhetorical Analysis

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In April 1999, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel addresses the President, First Lady, several members of the government, and the American public with a speech titled “The Perils of Indifference.” He provides examples of indifference during World War II. Similarly, he reasons why indifference in the future has the potential to cause disaster. As the country turns its back on people, a multitude of victims suffer. Wiesel feels the responsibility to spread awareness as he personally felt the effects of indifference. His use of rhetorical appeals and his ability to evoke emotion in other people and persuade them to change their perspective or actions are what cause his speech to be powerful. Wiesel uses ethical appeals so that authoritative figures will view him as a credible speaker. Consequently, this rhetoric is aimed primarily at the President and government officials. He wants to be taken seriously and earn the respect of those who have the opportunity to use power to act in ways that aid victims. Near the beginning of the speech, Weisel maintains a respectful tone when addressing President Clinton by saying “Mr. President-- Commander-in-chief of the Army that freed me, and tens of thousands of others” (Wiesel 1). He acknowledges the President over others in hopes of gaining his reverence and regard. Shortly after addressing President Clinton, Wiesel thanks the First Lady for her acts in helping “children Hooper 2 in the world,”(Wiesel 1) including those “victims of
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