Lou Gerhigs Farwell Speech

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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 sitting before him was short but convincing. He wanted to convince his fans that in his eyes this wasn't a defeat. He proclaimed that he considered himself, "the luckiest man on the face of the earth." Language was used to manipulate his fans into seeing the good and not the bad in this tragic situation. Instead of speaking of his illness, Gehrig reminded his fans of all the amazing people he has been able to meet and play for, his loving family, and his record setting career. He starts of the middle two paragraphs of his speech by stating, "Sure, I'm lucky," and continues on with remarks about the great men of baseball he has had the opportunity to work with. He continues on at the end of the speech with sarcasm, implying to the audience that he has a mother-in-law who cares for him more than her own daughter. His use of sarcasm manipulates the audience into forgetting that he even has a disease and focuses them on Gehrig's many great accomplishments.

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...
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