How Elie Wiesel Uses Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in The Perils of Indifference

Elie Wiesel was chosen to speak to show the importance of feeling sympathetic towards the victims of The Holocaust. As he (Elie Wiesel) is one of the survivors of this tragic time. Having this speech was important to have because the same mistakes would not happen again and have the past repeat itself. To make it aware that all people knew that what happened was wrong and hopefully make it better.

Ethos was used in this speech to show his way of thinking and to get it across to the audience for them to understand. With the questions, he asked he was not looking for an answer because he said these questions to show if we did or not. “Does it mean that we have learned from the past? Does it mean that society has changed? Has the human being become less indifferent and more human? Have we really learned from our experiences? Are we less insensitive to the plight of victims of ethnic cleansing and other form of injustices in places near and far?” (Wiesel). When Wiesel said this, he wanted his point to come across that the victims of the injustice that occurred should not be forgotten. He made sure that the way he spoke would come across that he is knowledgeable and understanding towards this matter. He said this because in past casualties and injustices the victims were often not looked at and left to suffer and concur their issues on their own. He wanted to see change for the better ad relive his past


Logos was used in this speech to show the reason for his opinion about the suffering of the victims. “I don’t understand. Roosevelt was a good man, with a heart. He understood those who needed help. Why didn’t he allow these refugees to disembark? A thousand people – in America, the great country, the greatest democracy, the most generous of all new nations in modern history. What happened? I don’t understand. Why the indifference, on the highest level,

to the suffering of the victims?” (Wiesel). In saying this Wiesel gave an example to the audience of the injustice made towards the victims. Wiesel said that Roosevelt was a good man but in his tone of voice it meant as if he were confused about his bad actions and thought he would do better than what he had done. He stated this to the president and the audience because he wished that it would not happen again. Wiesel wanted the audience to feel what the victims had gone through. He wanted to show that the past is looked upon to better the future for our children and their children.

Pathos was used in the speech to show the emotion and struggle the speaker went through. An example of this is when the speaker stated. “He was finally free, but there was no joy in his heart. He thought there never would be again. Liberated a day earlier by American soldiers, he remembers their rage at what they saw. And even if he lives to be a very old man, he will always be grateful to them at that rage, and also for their compassion” (Wiesel). Wiesel’s reason for stating this was to show the audience something to be empathetic towards. Saying that there was no joy in his heart as a child had the audience knowing what hardships and struggles, he went through as a child. the tone of voice that Wiesel used was a tone of sorrow and sadness as he remembers his past. The audience’s reaction to this tone of voice is to also be slightly saddened by his past and may also relate to the information stated.

Hearing this speech makes the audience and the readers know the importance of sympathy towards others and most important towards people who have experienced awful things in their life. The victims of the holocaust will never be forgotten, and their experiences should be looked at to make sure it will not happen again. Wiesel used his own past trauma to make known that even the people close to us, in the same room can go through these troublesome times. And it should not be looked upon.

A speech by Ellie Wiesel “The Perils of Indifference”

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