Indifference By Elie Wiesel Analysis

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“Indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor -- never its victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten” (Wiesel 2). When trying to get a powerful point or a message across its more effective to use certain techniques and certain words. One influential man mastered this skill, Elie Wiesel. Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate, gave a powerful speech on April 12th 1999 in Washington D.C. as part of the Millennium Lecture series, hosted by President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton. His speech touched on his story of survival as well as points about indifference and his opinion and feelings about it. The speech is powerful because of the language and the fact that the …show more content…
Before going in to detail about the negative effect a bystander has on the world one must understand what indifference is. Indifference is the lack of interest, knowing something and really not caring enough to do anything in order to change it! Wiesel explains that this is the worst thing in the country, and it has never been fixed. Wiesel acknowledges that indifference is temping and seductive in our society. Then he goes about his speech by putting down the people who are indifferent. He explains how it’s so easy to ignore, avoid and look away from issues. He acknowledges that it’s awkward for certain people to get involved in someone else fights or problems. Although he brings attention to the awkwardness that situation might bring he goes on to point out that, “people who are indifferent have meaningless lives” (Wiesel 2). With this aggressive approach he hits his audience with the hard facts that if they aren’t living in a good way and trying to produce good what are they living for? His approaches are so effective because of the language that he uses to get his points across and hold the attention of his …show more content…
He starts of using a passive approach, by using an anecdote about himself being young, with no joy in his heart. This really allows his audience to feel his pain and really open up their hearts to what he is about to say. While watching the speech live you can observe and feel the emotions around the room. Everyone is intensely listening and paying attention to every single word being said. His tone is very sorrowful, there is no anger in his voice there is no suspense it’s a monotone glum voice. He then continues his speech by using words that joins him and his audience into one. He uses statements like “our traditions and it made us feel”(Wiesel 3) making the live audience feel like he is more then a brilliant man, he is one of them. This shows the audience that even though he is on a podium making a speech he is still like everyone in the world. Wiesel then switches his approach by taking himself out of the audience and talking about the history of indifference in a more aggressive way. He starts using words like, They, representing the office. He describes them as selfish, insensitive to tragedy and so on. Which contradicts his earlier language. He does conclude his speech in a positive note by once again, including himself in his audience, using words like “we”. This is effective because the conclusion focuses on how indifference has to be resolved.

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