Analysis Of Elie Wiesel 's Speech Essay

1340 Words Nov 17th, 2016 6 Pages
When a horrific tragedy is reported on the news, Americans may feel remorseful, but only temporarily. The thought is quickly pushed out of the mind as they are consumed with other, less important things. Rather than donating to charity, volunteering, or giving aid to the homeless, humanity looks on. This is not a recent development; Americans have been apathetic to tragedies since before World War II. Elie Wiesel, a man who became a human’s rights activist after residing in Buchenwald and Auschwitz for two years at age fifteen, spoke at the White House about The Perils of Indifference during the 1999 Millennium Lecture series. His speech urges the audience to take action against injustices rather than remaining indifferent to human suffering. Wiesel takes advantage of the timing of his speech (kairos), uses his own experiences to establish his personal credibility (ethos), an insightful structure (logos), and challenges the audience to question the consequences of their indifference (pathos).
Before beginning an analysis of Elie Wiesel’s speech, the rhetorical terms kairos, ethos, logos, and pathos were created by an Ancient Greek philosopher named Aristotle. They have been used ever since as tools for a skillfully presented argument. To make an effective claim, rhetorical terms must be used regardless of the type of writing. Kairos includes using the timing a text is written, or when the speech was given in Wiesel’s case. To use kairos effectively, one can reference current…

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