Examine the subject matter in "The Perils of Indifference" by Elie Wiesel.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The original question had to be edited down.  I would say that the base subject matter of Wiesel's speech is the how the ethical position of indifference is tantamount to perpetrating cruelty.  Wiesel makes the point that indifference, not caring, "emboldens the aggressors."  For Wiesel, the subject matter of the speech is to examine the ethical implications of indifference.  In his reference to the Holocaust, Wiesel suggests that indifference was of significant importance to the Holocaust.  Wiesel suggests that "In a way, to be indifferent to that suffering is what makes the human being inhuman."  For Wiesel, the subject matter of the speech is to explore this idea in how indifference can be an ethically worse position than something like anger.  In Wiesel's speech, the subject matter is related to how indifference is not an appropriate response to genocides all over the world.  It is in Wiesel's experience with the Holocaust where indifference was seen in its worst capacity.  The indifference with which President Roosevelt turned away Jewish refugees, or the indifference with which others turned away from those who suffered and died during the Holocaust becomes the base subject matter of the speech.