The Perils of Indifference

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The Perils of Indifference, a speech written which was given by Eli Weisel to the former president Bill Clinton, his wife, and many others in attendance. This historical speech was given on April 12,1999 in Washington, D.C. In his speech, Elie Wiesel addresses Mr. and Mrs. Clinton and the members of congress in an attempt to persuade the audience into action. He doesn’t mention any particular action; he simply doesn’t want the audience to stand by while others suffer. It’s a simple thing to ask. However, to truly elicit response he uses questions, word choice, and graphic illustrations which anger the audience into anything but indifference. Elie Wiesel has two paragraphs that are almost entirely questions. Not to mention questions scattered throughout the entire speech. In the fourth paragraph of his speech, Elie Wiesel asks of indifference, “Is it necessary at times to practice it 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 question suggests to the audience that he is not completely against indifference. However, he then goes on to say that while indifference is certainly easier than action, it is not necessarily right. This contradiction makes the audience begin to realize that indifference is wrong. Elie Wiesel’s word choice for the speech is meant to horrify, anger, and otherwise arouse the audience into action. Many words used in his speech were used to cause feelings of anger and empathy. The word choice plays a major role in making the graphic illustrations so horrifying. The intensifying illusions made the speech more thrilling and cause several different emotions for the audience. Elie Wiesel illustrates the horror of Auschwitz and what some experience there. It creates in the audience feelings of empathy; almost pleading to help these people. Yet, the people

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