In April, 1945, Elie Wiesel was liberated from the Buchenwald concentration camp after struggling with hunger, beatings, losing his entire family, and narrowly escaping death himself. He at first remained silent about his experiences, because it was too hard to relive them. However, eventually he spoke up, knowing it was his duty not to let the world forget the tragedies resulting from their silence. He wrote Night, a memoir of his and his family’s experience, and began using his freedom to spread the word about what had happened and hopefully prevent it from happening again. In 1999, he was invited to speak at the Millennium Lectures, in front of the president, first lady, and other important governmental figures,. In his speech, “The Perils of Indifference”, he uses rhetoric devices to get emotional responses and to connect with the audience. He wants to create awareness of the dangers of indifference and show how there needs to be change. His speech eloquently calls out the government for their lack of response during the Holocaust, and warns against continued disregard for the struggles of others. He sees indifference as being the ally of the enemy, and without compassion there is no hope for the victims.
Throughout the speech, Wiesel utilizes a wide range of tones and uses strategic pauses so the audience experiences no difficulties in understanding the struggle he went through. He uses a wide range of well-placed emotions to help in making his point, as well as helping them feel how he felt during his struggles. Furthermore, Wiesel pauses to allow his words to sink in, which creates tension and suspense that stress the importance of what he is saying. While he recounts the story of the boy being...
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...ens on the consequences of apathy towards those who need help, and inspires hope for a better future. He wants to inspire better choices for the future presidents, and he uses a combination of logic, ethos and pathos to make his speech more effective. Wiesel sees indifference as more dangerous than any other emotion, as it both lessens a person’s humanity and distances them from their fellow people. He shows his audience how he feels through the emotions he uses when presenting his ideas, as well as painting them a picture of a young Elie Wiesel, struggling through the terrors of the Holocaust without any family, hoping only for rescue. He effectively makes his point about the dangers that come when people do not care for each other, and simultaneously calls the people to action, inspiring them to change the way America will respond to such situations in the future.
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