Lou Gerhig's Farwell Speech Essay

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Language Analysis of Lou Gehrig’s
Farwell Speech to the Yankees

Lou Gehrig was one of the best baseball players to ever play the game. He was blessed with an amazing career playing for the New York Yankees setting many major league records such as 2,130 consecutive games from 1925 to 1939. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and on July 4, 1939 Gehrig stood before his devoted fans at Yankee Stadium and announced that he had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The man that was known to everyone as the “Pride of the Yankees”, on this very day, showed how courageous he was by giving a passionate speech to his fans that was filled with sarcasm, emotion, and pride. Gehrig’s speech to the 60,000 fans
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Specific words Gehrig uses in his speech have a very persuasive undertone. Words such as lucky, kindness, honor, and strength are used to portray to the audience an underlying message that he will make it through this battle and return a stronger man because of it. The word lucky is used numerous times throughout Gehrig’s farewell speech. He uses this emotive word countless times to manipulate his audience’s beliefs and attitudes. One would think that this man is far from lucky, just being diagnosed with such a rare disease but he uses the word to recap his many memorable moments in major league baseball. In his closing sentence Gehrig uses the word live. This is another word that could have two different meanings to his audience but Gehrig clearly makes it known his definition of the word. He stated, “So I close in saying that I might have had a tough break-but I have an awful lot to live for!” Many could look at the word live and assume, what does he have to live for anymore, this is a man that has just been hit a tremendous blow. Instead of letting the audience use translate this word using a negative definition, Gehrig uses his entire speech to remind them of everything in his life he has to live for. He uses examples such as his family, his, friends and colleagues, and his fans. By stating the importance of these individuals he is embedding a

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