Speech In The Perils Of Indifference By Elie Wiesel

783 WordsDec 1, 20174 Pages
Elie Wiesel once said “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”(Wiesel). Wiesel was a holocaust survivor and someone who wanted equality for all people. He spoke the famous “ The Perils of Indifference” speech in April 1999, at the White House. Wiesel has a strong opinion that having a lack of interest or sympathy is the worst state of mind to have. With many people becoming detached in today's society Wiesel fights to express how indifference can ruin humanity by using rhetorical questioning, an analogy, and ethos to persuade his readers and/or listeners. Elie Wiesel begins his speech with stating his understanding that indifference becomes a normal state of mind for the sake of not wanting to get involved or for other selfish reasons. He also expresses how indifference can be captivating and easier than helping the victims. In this portion of the speech, he questions the reader without wanting a direct response. He questions, “Is it necessary at times to practice it simply to keep one's sanity, live normally, enjoy a fine meal, and a glass of wine, as the world around us experiences harrowing upheavals?” This quotation explains that many people are too focused on their own lives, to care about others. By questioning the audience, it makes them feel involved and possibly even guilty. Eyes are opened and the thought of how self-serving being indifferent is hits the reader's emotions. He expresses how individuals feel being ignored by the bystanders who never stand up for them. Withal, he makes a reference stating that if the victims are not close to us, their lives become meaningless. Additionally, Wiesel speaks on how indifference is even worse than anger. Indifference is harmful which Wiesel shows through an analogy. Indifference is nothing which is worse than anything. To represent this idea Wiesel states “One writes a great poem, a great symphony, one does something special for the sake of humanity because one is angry at the injustice that one witnesses!” The passage explains that anger moves people and makes them want to speak out or change the current situation, whereas being indifferent encourages the
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