Elie Wiesel’s “The Perils of Indifference” is a powerful and moving call to action. Through his personal experiences, Wiesel illustrates the dangers of apathy and indifference in the face of evil. With eloquent prose and emotion-evoking anecdotes, Wiesel urges his audience to care about the suffering of others and to take action against injustice.
Wiesel begins his speech by recounting his own experience as a victim of Nazi persecution. He describes how he and his family were taken from their home in Hungary and transported to Auschwitz, where they were separated and he never saw his mother or sister again. Wiesel witnessed first-hand the horrors of the Holocaust, including seeing children being burned alive. These experiences have made him a powerful voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Wiesel goes on to say that indifference is not only dangerous, but it is also contagious. He urges his audience to break the cycle of indifference and take action against hate and bigotry. Wiesel’s words are especially relevant in today’s political climate, where divisive rhetoric and hate crimes are on the rise. By speaking out against indifference, we can create a more just and compassionate world.
Elie Wiesel delivered a speech entitled The Perils of Indifference before members of Congress on April 12, 1999. He claims that being ignored is harmful, but it’s much more damaging when others don’t assist you. During his address, the writer uses a conversational tone to connect with the audience.
Elie Wiesel wants the world to know that even though the Holocaust happened over fifty years ago, there are people still living in today’s society that were affected by it. Elie Wiesel speaks from his own experience as a victim of indifference during the Holocaust.
Elie Wiesel opens his speech with a rhetorical question: “What is indifference? Is it the opposite of passion, of interest, of dedication? Or is it, on the contrary, a disguised fear so intense that it leads one to seek safety in inaction?” He claims that being indifferent hurts more than anything else. Elie Wiesel argues that during the Holocaust there were people who simply looked away because they didn’t want to get involved. Elie Wiesel was a victim of this indifference when he was sent to Auschwitz.
Elie Wiesel then goes on to talk about how the world has changed since the Holocaust. He talks about how there are new technologies and how the world is more connected than ever before. Elie Wiesel argues that with all of these new advancements, there is no excuse for indifference.
He claims that if the world had paid attention to what was happening during the Holocaust, maybe it could have been stopped. Elie Wiesel wants people to learn from the past and not be indifferent to what is happening in the world today.
Elie Wiesel ends his speech with a call to action. He asks people to “look into your hearts and see if you can find that small space of hope.” Elie Wiesel believes that if people can find that hope, then they can make a difference in the world. He asks people to not be indifferent to what is happening in the world today, because tomorrow it could be too late. Elie Wiesel’s speech is a powerful call to action that should be heeded by all.
In the portion of his speech that I’m analyzing, Elie Wiesel uses several rhetorical techniques, including tone, rhetorical questions, and repetition. Wiesel goes into great detail to define indifference in his speech, bringing attention to the fact that it is more widespread than people realize, engaging frequently with the audience on a personal matter throughout his oration, illustrating the positive and negative consequences of apathy, and ultimately asking the audience to alter their current behavior.
He begins by introducing the definition of “indifference.” He then provides three detailed examples of how indifference has caused destruction: the Holocaust, racism, and genocide. Wiesel also includes a personal story about his experience with indifference.
Next, Wiesel outlines the different types of people who can be indifferent. He argues that there are two types of indifferent people in the world: those who do not care and those who do not know.
Wiesel goes on to say that even though some people may not be indifferent themselves, they may still enable indifference in others. He gives the example of a bystander who does nothing when they witness a hate crime.
He argues that the bystander is just as guilty as the person committing the hate crime because they did nothing to stop it.
Wiesel then asks the question, “What is indifference?” He defines indifference as “not doing something about evil.”
He goes on to say that indifference is more dangerous than anger and hatred because it is passive and allows evil to flourish.
Wiesel concludes his speech by asking the audience to take action against indifference. He urges them to speak out against injustice and make a difference in the world.
This is accomplished by Wiesel through antithesis. Wiesel discusses severe circumstances that people are aware of, and he then claims that indifference is a case of blurred lines. He puts together many little phrases in one sentence, such as “…light and darkness, dusk and dawn, crime and punishment, cruelty and compassion, good and evil”
This example is an instance of alliteration. Wiesel also employs logos in his speech, which can be seen when he talks about the numbers of people who were killed during the Holocaust. He states that “6 million Jews perished- among them my mother and my little sister” This is a way of using emotion to further his point that indifference is cruel.
Elie Wiesel’s “The Perils of Indifference” is a very powerful rhetoric piece where he argues that indifference is dangerous and cruel. He supports this argument by using various rhetorical devices such as antithesis, alliteration, and logos.
Wiesel’s use of antithesis to illustrate indifference demonstrates how most people are blind to the shades between two extremes. Using antithesis is an excellent method to emphasize that individuals are generally aware of apparent facts. Indifference isn’t immediately apparent, so using antithesis is a great way to bring attention to it. People will either ask war stories about the heroes or stories about the injured, for example, in battle.
There’s no in between. Wiesel’s use of first person point of view throughout the speech creates a more personal connection with the audience, as if he is talking to them directly. This allows him to share his experiences and feelings about indifference, which are much more powerful than if he were to simply state facts.
Wiesel opens with a shocking statistic, that in the Holocaust “one million children were murdered.” This immediately grabs the audience’s attention and sets the tone for the rest of the speech. He then goes on to describe how he was one of those children, and how he survived by being “witness to atrocity.” By sharing his personal story, Wiesel humanizes the issue of indifference, and makes it more relatable to the audience.
He continues by talking about how the world has changed since the Holocaust, but indifference is still a problem. He gives examples of current events, such as the Rwanda genocide and the Bosnian war, where “the international community has failed to act.” Wiesel argues that indifference is just as deadly as hatred and violence, because it allows these atrocities to continue.
He ends with a call to action, urging people to “take responsibility for what happens in our world.” Wiesel’s powerful speech highlights the importance of speaking up against injustice, and fighting for human rights. By using personal stories and current examples, he demonstrates how indifference can have devastating consequences. Elie Wiesel’s “The Perils of Indifference” is an effective call to action, which urges people to take responsibility for their world.