Triyanna DavorenMay 5, 2013 period 6 English HonorsCritical Lens Essay “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. ” is a powerful quote said by Elie Wiesel. In a simplistic way this quote is saying that in a time when something is going wrong, don’t stay silent. Tell someone and speak up because if you don’t, the wrong will continue to be done and nothing with solve it.
The validity of this statement can be proven through two different works of literature. The fist work of literature is a memoir written by Elie Wiesel. It goes by the name of Night and consists of Elie’s experience in the Holocaust. Anther work of literature that exemplifies the quote is the play Twelve Angry Men written by Reginald Rose. Both works of literature perfectly illustrate speaking up during wrong doings can give great change.
In the book Night written by Elie Wiesel, he uses personification as a literary element to show how terrible it was during this time.
In the book he said “Around me everything was dancing a dance of death. It made my head reel. ” Personification is being expressed here through death dancing. Death is unable to dance being that it is none human, but he’s giving it a human characteristic to show the degree of death around him. Everyone was either dead, or dying and he couldn’t understand why nobody on the outside would say anything about what was going on there. This contributed to his vow to never say silent when humans endure suffering and humiliation.
In addition to this, he also says “Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. ” which exemplifies personification as well. Moments cannot murder anything because they are inhuman, thus giving them human characteristics. Elie was hurt emotionally by this, making him vow not to let anyone else feel this way. If he were to ever come across someone being treated in such a way he would say something. If not, he would be supporting the oppressors. Both these key pieces of evidence from Night validate Elie’s quote on keeping silent when humans are suffering and are being humiliated.
Reginald Rose’s play Twelve Angry Men helps to further validate Elie Wiesel’s quote. In the play, Reginald Rose uses point of view to give the audience a look at how other people may think. In the play, all the jurors except one believed that the boy being charged was guilty. But Juror Eight did not. When they were taking a vote to see everyones thoughts on whether he was guilty or not guilty, he raised his hand for not guilty. After Juror 10 asks whether he believed his story or not, he told him “I don’t know whether I believe it or not. Maybe I don’t. Juror 8 spoke up during a rough time and caused quite a conflict for the whole jury. Although they were all very upset with him, he did not cease giving his opinion and trying to make them see things from his point of view. “All right. I had a peculiar feeling about this trial. Somehow I felt that the defense counsel never really conducted a thorough cross-examination. I mean, he was appointed by the court to defend the boy. He hardly seemed interested. Too many questions were left unasked. ” This quote said by Juror 8 shows that he will not back down about his opinion.
He believed the boy wasn’t guilty and thought everyone should have the opportunity to understand his reasoning. He spent a lot of time persuading them to believe that the boy was not guilty. He gave examples of why he thought he was innocent and they soon began to make sense to the other jurors. These two quotes validate Elie Wiesel’s wrote because they show that he won’t back down from the other jurors. He believed this boy was going to endure suffering for no reason and he would not stand for it, just like Wiesel will not stay silent when a human is being humiliated.
Each quote from Twelve Angry Men exemplifies Elie Wiesel’s quote about suffering and humiliation. This quote said my Elie Wiesel: “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. ” can be proven to be valid. It is true that silence does not help the victim, but only the oppressor. This can be proven through works of literature such as the book Night and the play Twelve Angry Men.
Both these works of literature give two different types of examples why you shouldn’t stay quiet when people are enduring suffering and/or humiliation. In Night Elie Wiesel experienced these tragedies personally, making him vow to never be silent when someone humans are enduring this treatment. In Twelve Angry Men, Juror 8 just realizes that not all the pieces to the puzzle fit so he couldn’t let a child die for invalid reasons. These two works of literature pertain to Elie’s quote and perfectly illustrate its validity.
Cite this Elie Wiesel Critical Lens
Elie Wiesel Critical Lens. (2016, Oct 30). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/elie-wiesel-critical-lens/