Elie Wiesel’s Perils Of Indifference Essay

941 words - 4 pages

On April 12th 1999, in Washington D.C., Elie Wiesel gave a speech during the Millennium Lecture Series that took place in the East Room of the White House. The speech was given in front of Mr. Bill and Mrs. Hillary Clinton, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and other officials. Elie Wiesel is an author most noted for his novel Night, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and political activist. In the speech he spoke on his view of indifference and explained how it was negatively affecting humanity and the nation as a whole. The Perils of Indifference was a speech that successfully used ethos, pathos, and logos to inform, persuade and inspire its audience on its views.
As soon as the speech begins, ...view middle of the document...

Elie also incorporates ethos in his speech and ensures credibility. With his change in tone and style Elie builds a bridge with the audience by portraying various emotions throughout such as hopeful and angry. He begins in a more passive and story-telling approach with the anecdote of his childhood. He then uses phrases to connect with the audience like, “We are on the threshold of a new century, a new millennium” before he becomes more direct with his phrasing like when he points out the indifference shown by the government by those who were suffering during WWII or when he sounds more like he’s giving orders, for example, “You fight it. You denounce it. You disarm it”. While changing tones and style effectively he also uses it to sympathize with the opposing views. He states, “Of course, indifference can be tempting – more than that, seductive” which shows his understanding of other opinions of indifference besides his own. He also empathizes with those who maybe just feel uncomfortable or awkward when trying “to be involved in another person’s pain and despair” rather than being indifferent. After, he explains how the opinions are incorrect in a respectful way and with reasoning to back him up, showing he is credible and fair.
Elie’s consistent view of dislike toward indifference depicts logos. From beginning to end Elie stays with his side of the argument of indifference being the worst thing for a person and/ or nation to have. His clear and understandable word usage made his speech reach an audience of anyone who understands the words and analogies rather than just the intended audience which was the members of the White House. He gave reasons, for his argument, in a way that did not seem to be in vain even with his experiences in WWII and were effective....

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