David than that, seductive.” (1) Going on from

David Mangers

Ins. Kristin Houlton
ENGL102

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21 January 2018

 

Elie Wiesel the Nobel Laureate and writer
of “Night” was presented with a grand
stage in with to present his idea when he was requested by President Clinton to
speak at the Millennium Lecture. Wiesel took this opportunity to address
indifference in the world with his lecture entitled “The Perils of
Indifference.” Wiesel successfully uses an emotionally call for individuals to
take action against injustice by sharing three instances of pathos within his
lecture. Initially, Wiesel explains how tempting indifference can be by addressing
indifference’s seductive nature and cost. Then Wiesel presents the
“Muselmanner” is intending to personify the cost of indifference to
the audience. Lastly near Wiesel’s closing, he asks a series of questions
designed to leave the audience emotionally invested in the plight of
indifference.

Wiesel early in his lecture states
“indifference can be tempting — more than that, seductive.” (1) Going on from
this Wiesel speak to how easy it is to not care about the victims of injustice,
how it is “easier to avoid such rude interruptions to our work, our dreams, our
hopes.” (1) Wiesel chooses at this early stage to emotional address why people
are often indifferent to the plight of those suffering from injustice. From
addressing the reasons why people often are indifference to the injustice
suffered by other because it is “awkward and troublesome.” In these lines,
Wiesel strikes at the shame involved in not caring for the pain that “hidden or
even visible anguish is of no interest” (1) to the indifferent person.  All of this is intended to lead the audience
to emotional self-reflection on why it is easy to avoid confronting injustice
in the world and why atrocity is allowed to happen.

Wiesel’s statement “Over there, behind the
black gates of Auschwitz, the most tragic of all prisoners were the
“Muselmanner,” (1) seeks in its wording to call for an emotional
response for the reader. Wiesel began the statement with a visual, using the
“black gates of Auschwitz” (1), a very well know Nazi constriction camp, to visualize
an emotionally dark place and heighten the plight of the group described in the
second part of the statement. Using this setting to introduce the
“Muselmanner” (1) Wiesel provokes the reader’s sympathy for the
plight of these hopeless men. Wiesel
continues to describe the “Muselmanner” as “no longer felt pain,
hunger, thirst. They feared nothing. They felt nothing” (1) to strengthen the
audience. By playing to these sympathies, Wiesel increases his augment against indifference by making the
audience feel for these men. This pity for these men who can “were dead and did
not know it” strikes a final cord that opens even the hardest heart to these
men’s plight.

To strengthen his argument and reflect on
the intervention in Kosovo Wiesel asks a series of questions to the audience.
Wiesel asks if the intervention in Kosovo means that people have learned from
the past or if society has changed. (1) Both of these issues are used to appeal
to the emotions of the audience causing them to reflect on the world since the
Holocaust. This reflection Wiesel moves to further question designed to
generate more introspection on the world
and where it has changed toward action versus indifference.  These questions
leave the audience emotionally questioning whether any real difference has
accrued in the world or whether we are the same in different people that
allowed for the horrors to occur.

In closing Elie Wiesel successfully seeks
to emotionally call for individuals to take action against injustice within his
lecture entitled “The Perils of Indifference.” Wiesel was able to successfully
make this argument resonate with the audience by using three key instances of
pathos from the lecture. For the first point, Wiesel explained how tempting
indifference could be by addressing indifference’s seductive nature and cost.
Then Wiesel presented the “Muselmanner” is intending to personify the
cost of indifference. Lastly near Wiesel’s closing, he asks a series of
questions designed to leave the audience emotionally invested in the plight of
indifference. It is with these three-key points that Wiesel successfully seeks
to use emotions to convince the audience to side with the side of action versus
falling into the trap of indifference.

 

 

Works
Cited

Wiesel,
Elie. “The Perils of Indifference.” The History Place – Great Speeches
Collection: Elie Wiesel Speech The Perils of Indifference, The History Place,
12 Apr. 1999. Web. 10 Jan. 2018, www.historyplace.com/speeches/wiesel.htm.