Essay about Elie Wiesel’s “The Perils of Indifference” Speech

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Elie Wiesel’s “The Perils of Indifference” Speech Elie Wiesel, a Noble Peace Prize winner and Boston University Professor, presented a speech as part of the Millennium Lecture Series at the White House on April 12, 1999. President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton hosted the formal lecture series. Numerous dignitaries from a wide array of public, private and foreign office attended the event. Although Elie Wiesel designed his speech to persuade, it actually fell somewhat outside the deliberative genre category, as being more non-typical within this genre category. The speech is unique in a way that cascades it into a genre classification considered as a hybrid deliberative genre. Wiesel produces this hybrid genre by bending or…show more content…
He did this with the main point of his speech centering on how dangerous indifference can be to humankind. Elie Wiesel’s speech falls into the deliberative genre category, and was designed to influence his listeners into action by warning them about the dangers indifference can have on society as it pertains to human atrocities and suffering. The speech helped the audience understand the need for every individual to exercise their moral conscience in the face of injustice. Wiesel attempts to convince his audience to support his views by using his childhood experience and relating them to the harsh realities while living in Nazi Death Camps as a boy during the Holocaust. He warns, “To be indifferent to suffering is to lose one’s humanity” (Wiesel, 1999). Wiesel persuades the audience to embrace a higher level of level moral awareness against indifference by stating, “the hungry children, the homeless refugees-not to respond to their plight, not to relieve their solitude by offering them a spark of hope, is to exile them from human memory”. Wiesel’s uses historical narrative, woven with portions of an autobiography to move his persuasive speech from a strictly deliberative genre to a hybrid deliberative genre. Wiesel is effective with his speech by blending forensic rhetoric within his discourse. He questions the guilt and responsibility for past massacres, pointing specifically at the Nazi’s while using historical facts, such as bloodbaths in Cambodian and
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