Elie Wiesel Rhetorical Devices

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Rhetorical devices are devices that are used to convey a meaning to the reader and create emotions through different types of language. Elie Wiesel uses rhetorical devices such as personification, metaphors, and rhetorical questions to emphasize and establish the theme of losing faith.
One of the rhetorical devices that Elie Wiesel uses to create and further emphasize the theme of losing faith is personification. An example of personification being used for this purpose in the novel is, “Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.” (34) This quote uses personification to show Elie’s loss of faith by animating certain moments in his life that made him completely lose faith in God and feel like his soul was torn in half by the atrocities the Germans committed. While Elie was being transferred to concentration camps, he experienced moments such as babies being thrown into fire pits and his best friends dieing by his side. Another example of Elie using personification is, “Blessed be God's name? Why, but why would I bless Him? Every fiber in me rebelled.” (67) Elie personifies the fibers in his body to display the progression of his faith being lost. While the other Jews were praying Elie rebelled against the thought of praising some “God” that did not help them in their time of need. Finally, Elie uses the personification, “In the beginning there was faith—which is childish; trust—which is vain; and illusion—which is dangerous."(preface, x) Elie Wiesel uses this to enforce the theme of losing faith by claiming that having faith in something as trivial as a deity during a time of need is childish to begin with.
Another way Elie Wiesel emphasizes the loss of faith is by using metaphors. An example of Elie Wiesel using a metaphor is the quote, “Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever.” (34) Elie uses this quote to represent the things which are happening in the concentration camp are so traumatic to his soul and faith that he will carry the burden of ever having seen it for the rest of his life. Similarly, Elie Wiesel further justifies his loss of faith by using the metaphor, “I was nothing but ashes now, but I felt myself to be stronger
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