Rhetorical Analysis Of Elie Wiesel 's ' The Perils Of Indifference '

837 Words Apr 13th, 2016 4 Pages
In his speech The Perils of Indifference, Elie Wiesel, a man of Jewish descent who lived

through the holocaust, adjured President Bill Clinton, along with his wife Hillary Clinton and a

joint session of congress. Throughout the piece Wiesel stuck to a single theme with a grim

determination born of experience: to constantly be aware of and fight evil. The speech reads as a

piece of persuasion, dedicated to convincing both the legislative and executive branches of the

United States’ government not to get comfortable in the relative peace that marked the Clinton

years in the white house. Wiesel’s perspective was forged in the concentration camps of Nazi

Germany, and he speaks as one who has known the evil he now speaks out against. Overall,

Wiesel delivers a brilliant, highly persuasive speech in which he makes good use of the

persuasive techniques of questions, examples, and pathos to forcefully convince his listeners of

both the details and the urgency of his point.

The weakest rhetorical technique present within Wiesel’s speech is his use of examples.

Wiesel relates his experience in a concentration camp in World War II as an example of a time

when a great leader, United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was doing great

work, freeing the territory held by Nazi Germany, committed an unimaginable oversight by not

doing the simple task of bombing the rail lines leading into the concentration camps. This,

Wiesel explains, would have…

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