Soapstone Analysis of Lou Gehrig's Retirement Speech

Topics: Lou Gehrig, Optimism, Pessimism Pages: 2 (837 words) Published: September 16, 2012
SOAPSTone Analysis of Lou Gehrig's Retirement Speech
Lou Gehrig gave this speech as part of his retirement. He did not intend of making a speech at the time and he gave a very good speech. He presented himself as a relaxed, grateful, and a very humble human being. In this speech he is showing a side of him that is very optimistic. He shared certain details about his life, the good parts. He shared his gratitude toward his parents, his wife, and mother-in-law. He shared his humble background and praised the people he worked with. He chooses to dwell on the good parts of his life, not his hardships. Gehrig wanted people to know that he has had a good life and they should not feel sorry for him. He does not feel sorry for himself. He said, “I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” This shows his optimism and gratitude for all the wonderful things in his life. He makes himself sound human; not some stuck up, filthy rich baseball player, who thinks that he is better than the fans. He is a speaker that is admirable, and incredibly humble.

The speech is for Lou’s retirement, and it does not speak too much about the retirement or the cause for it, which makes it more appropriate. It was in a baseball field that he gave this speech. It would not have been appropriate to depress the audience and it would have been a little off-putting. Gehrig also did not brag about himself, rather, he praised other people. It was a very gracious exit. Rather than being bitter about his “bad break”, he was grateful for all the people who supported and encouraged him. He speaks to the fans in a non formal way of speaking and with a word choice and tone that is very appropriate for the occasion.

The first word of the speech addresses the audience, “Fans...” As mentioned previously, Lou speaks very informally. His attitude is humble, and the resonates with audience and makes them like him because he is just a regular guy, not a jerk celebrity. He does not use...
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