keep memory alive persuasive analysis

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                             “Keep Memory Alive” by Elie Wiesel
                 Literary Analysis: Persuasive Writing
    Persuasive writing is nonfiction intended to convince people to take a particular action or
agree with the author’s point of view. Persuasive writers present arguments, using reason to
support their positions. They also use rhetorical devices, or patterns of words that create
emphasis and stir emotion. Rhetorical devices include the following:
   • Repetition—the reuse of a key word or idea for emphasis
   • Parallelism—similar grammatical structures used to express related ideas
   • Slogans and saws—short, catchy phrases
   • Rhetorical questions—questions that are intended to have obvious answers and that are
     asked for effect
    Examples of persuasive writing include persuasive essays, speeches, advertisements, political
writings, legal arguments, sales brochures, and fund-raising letters.

A. DIRECTIONS: Answer the following about Elie Wiesel’s speech “Keep Memory Alive.”
   1. What sentence in Weisel’s speech sums up the point with which he wants his listeners to
   agree?
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   2. List three reasonable, persuasive elements Wiesel uses to support his main point. Identify
   the type of argument or rhetorical device used in each.
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   3. Why is this message more powerful coming from Elie Wiesel than from someone else?
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   4. Why is it important to Wiesel to keep the memory of what happened to him and his people
   alive?
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                                                                                 Grade 10, Unit 3   1
ANSWERS
“Keep Memory Alive” by Elie Wiesel
Literary Analysis: Persuasive Writing

Sample Answers
1. Students might choose the following: “And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever and
wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation” or “We must always take sides.”
2. Wiesel repeats the statement, “I remember.” This is the rhetorical device of repetition, used to
emphasize the main message of keeping memory alive. Wiesel also often uses introductory
statements set off by colons; this is parallelism. There is also parallelism in the final two
sentences:
“Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the
tormented.”
“How could the world remain silent?” is a rhetorical question.
3. The message is more powerful coming from Wiesel than from someone else because Wiesel is
a Holocaust survivor. He personally experienced the events of which he speaks.
4. He says that forgetting makes others guilty as well because it makes it possible for such crimes
to happen again. He believes that ignoring, forgetting, or keeping silent about terrible events only
helps the oppressors, not the victims.




                                                                                  Grade 10, Unit 3   2

				
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