Messages In The Perils Of Indifference By Elie Wiesel

1071 WordsDec 11, 20175 Pages
Author, Elie Wiesel in his morose yet optimistic speech, “The Perils of Indifference,” asserts that indifference is dangerous and we as individuals, a nation, and a global community should learn from the indifference of the past. He supports his message by revealing his past experience through the eyes of a young boy who witnessed the Holocaust and America's’ eyes full of rage as a reaction to the survivors’ pain. Additionally, Wiesel describes many other events that have occurred, for example, like Cambodia, resulting in violent suffering and mass indifference. The sinful act of indifference is something that everyone should fear as Wiesel describes it. Lastly, he warns the audience that we need to prepare ourselves for what is yet to come, for the past is going to repeat itself if we do not learn from our mistakes. Wiesel’s purpose is to inform readers about indifference as well as the negative outcomes that come with it in order to bring about a change in humanity. The author establishes a serious tone for readers by using stylistic devices such as repetition, rhetorical questions, and imagery in order to achieve his message that indifference is a danger we the future will interact with, but still hope never comes. Horrifyingly so, the holocaust is not the only indifferent caused event Wiesel mentions in “The Peril of Indifference.” An event much like the holocaust, Cambodia had labor camps where “physical abuse, disease, exhaustion, and starvation were extremely prevalent,” killing about 1.7-2 million Cambodians during Khmer Rouge’s 4 year reign. Although “scholars and others in the West tried to bring attention to the atrocities being committed,” no one actually stepped in to help prevent this from continuing. No one in Cambodia resisted because they couldn’t think of a plan to since the “doctors, teachers and other educated people, as well as monks, the rich, and anyone perceived to be in opposition were tortured and killed.” “Children and babies were not exempt from their cruelty; it was often noted “to stop the weeds you must also pull up their roots.” “Many of the Khmer Rouge’s members escaped to Thailand” towards the end of Khmer Rouge’s reign only because they were retreating from the evasion from
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