1 Haley Allen Rhetorical analysis 5 October, 2015 Living Corpses When humans do the unthinkable, when evil triumphs over good, and when all hope in humanity is torn to pieces, we find ourselves left with but one option. The only thing left to do is tape and glue together the pieces in hopes of mending the dreadful past. Talking about the ghosts that haunt us is never easy, but it is necessary in order to keep history from recurring and to begin to move forward. The horrible events in Nazi Germany were able to persist for so long because the mass majority of people were afraid to speak up. Nobody spoke up for Elie Wiesel, and now as a survivor, he is taking his voice back. He is bringing the experiences of his dark past to light in the excerpt “Eight Short Simple Words.” The words that he writes detailing the accounts of his childhood will live on forever. Wiesel creates this heart wrenching piece primarily with the use of rhetorical questions, personification, dialogue, and similes. The Holocaust took much more than the millions of innocent lives destroyed. It prompted a loss of faith in God, transformed moral citizens into savages, and inflicted a never-ceasing pain. Above all, it was a warning to future generations that silence in the presence of evil can be just as excruciating as screams of terror. As Wiesel and his family approached Auschwitz, he began to see evil everywhere. Wiesel continually expresses his discontent at the perceived absence of God largely with the use of rhetorical questions. Wiesel becomes enraged for the first time in the narrative when his father began to pray, asking “Why should I sanctify His name…what was there to thank him for?” (Wiesel 270). It is powerful that in the midst of all these wicked and sinful men, the one being
2 that truly inspires rage in him is God rather than the Nazis. These questions serve to show how absolutely hopeless and abandoned Wiesel felt at that concentration camp; he couldn’t see how God could remain silent in the face of such disgusting, cruel actions. The passage concludes with multiple statements from Wiesel proclaiming “Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever” and “Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul…” (Wiesel 276). Personification is used in the above lines to show how unsalvageable his faith really is. Just as how when an item is burnt to ashes or a life is lost,
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