The Perils Of Indifference Speech Summary

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“In Denying Their Humanity We Betray Our Own”: An Analysis of Elie Wiesel On April 12, 1999, Elie Wiesel, a man who had experienced the horrors of Auschwitz and Buchenwald as a fifteen year old boy, gave “The Perils of Indifference” speech at the 1999 White House Millennium Lecture in front of a large audience, including those such as President Bill Clinton, the then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, and many others. (Andrea M. Wenker 310). Elie’s main purpose in his speech was to create awareness about indifference, intolerance, and injustice; he touched on the experiences that were dealt with during the Holocaust in order to aid him in causing strong emotions from his audience. Through the use of provoking his audience to self-reflect on their personal experience with indifference, Wiesel makes his audience aware of its effects, which causes them to aspire change and therefore demonstrates the importance of avoiding indifference to the suffering of others. Wiesel vividly describes the effects of the inhumane …show more content…
His very last sentence of the speech says that “together we walk towards the new millennium, carried by profound fear and extraordinary hope” (Wiesel 313). He wants his experiences and knowledge to inspire his audience to acknowledge the past, but to mainly focus on the future and to make the decision to not be silent to others that are suffering and to make a difference. The more indifference becomes a commonality, the more unacceptable things will become socially acceptable. It is human nature to care for those around us in need and when the decision is made to be indifferent, the natural instinct of our humanity is being ignored. As the decision is made to be indifferent, it must be known that “in denying their humanity we betray our own” (Wiesel

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