Cries, screams, sobs were all continuous sounds throughout the Holocaust. Six million died, their words unheard. The Holocaust was a catastrophic event, but the voices of the people who suffered are longing to be heard. Writers have felt a strong compelling need to convey the unspeakable. Imagery, Repetition, and Figurative Language are all viable writing tools that provide a writer with the best opportunity to speak the unspeakable.
Writer, Elie Wiesel, conveys the unspeakable through the usage of imagery. Wiesel writes, “Yes, I did see this with my own eyes… children thrown into flames” (Doc A). Being a Holocaust survivor, Wiesel has felt that it is his duty to speak the unspeakable. Wiesel uses imagery to give the reader a visual representation of the anguish he went through.
He illustrates an event that is terrifying so that the reader can get a picture of what experiencing the Holocaust would have felt like.
Wiesel is able to say the unspeakable by also using repetition. Wiesel writes, “Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke…Never shall I forget those things…” (Doc A). By repeating the phrase “never shall I forget”, Wiesel provides the reader with a “taste” of the hard times he had to face.
Writer, Art Spiegelman, also portrays the message through metaphors. Spiegelman writes, “‘Oh’, I said. ‘they may be killed, there a dog'” and ” Now I thought ‘how amazing it is that human being reacts the same like this neighbor’s dog'” (Doc B). Spiegelman’s father was a Jew in Poland and a Holocaust survivor. Just as many of us, Spiegelman was trying to answer the question “How Does One Say the Unspeakable?” He answers this question by comparing humans to dogs to show how they were treated and how the Jews acted. This allows the reader to understand the intense atmosphere the Germans were forcing upon the Jews.
The best way these writers conveyed the unspeakable is by using viable writing tools such as imagery, repetition, and figurative language.