Elie Wiesel's Speech In 'The Perils Of Indifference'

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Elie Wiesel, addressing the President of the United States, the First Lady of the United States, and many other people who hold power within the country in his speech “The Perils of Indifference” uses rhetorical strategies such as asyndeton, imagery, and rhetorical questions to prove his point that indifference is a dangerous force that is unknowingly hurting the world. Elie Wiesel uses asyndeton to prove his point that indifference is dangerous and that it is changing the world with no one noticing it happening before their own eyes. In the second paragraph, Wiesel uses asyndeton to list all of the things that the First Lady, Hillary Clinton, has done, and continues to do, to help people around the world. Wiesel also uses asyndeton at the end of the speech, once again, listing all of the traumatic events that have happened in that century. The use of asyndeton in this speech is used to build up intensity of all of the things that indifference has caused. Elie Wiesel also uses imagery to strengthen his point. Elie Wiesel uses imagery to describe just how bad indifference has caused things to be. In the sixth paragraph, Wiesel uses imagery to describe the Holocaust, which was caused by indifference, and how the Holocaust affected the Jews in Auschwitz. He uses imagery by using strong diction to describe Auschwitz, saying, “…behind the black gates…most tragic of all…wrapped in torn blankets…unaware of who or where they were…they were dead and did not know it.” This use of imagery gives the reader a sense of how strongly indifference has affected the world. Wiesel uses imagery again near the end of the speech when he talks about the destruction and terror that the Jews faced sixty years prior to the speech being given by saying, “…after the Kristallnacht…hundreds of Jewish shops destroyed, synagogues burned, thousands of people put into concentration camps.” He uses words like “destroyed” and “burned” to describe how badly the Jews were treated because of indifference, but also because of how strongly they affect the audience. These words might bring up the destruction that they may have seen in their own lives and how much sadness it has caused them, helping the audience reflect their personal experiences
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