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Rhetorical Analysis of Lou Gehrig's "Farewell To Baseball"

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Chris Battiloro

on 1 December 2010

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Transcript of Rhetorical Analysis of Lou Gehrig's "Farewell To Baseball"

Lou Gehrig's "Farewell Address to Baseball" was a short speech directed at baseball fans to discuss his great life and career. He had been recently diagnosed with what has become Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS. It was a disease where the central function of the nervous system becomes dysfunctional, but the mind remains perfectly healthy till death. The prognosis would be a life expectancy of 3 years or less, and a slow but steady paralysis. S: Lou Gehrig
O: "Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day" July 4, 1939.
A: Yankee Fans as well as baseball fans
P: To show his illustrious life and career are not to be overshadowed by the recent events. To show the audience all the great accomplishments that overshadow this minor setback.
T: Positive/Optimistic Anaphora "When you [...]" Serves to show all the things that Lou had
and why he is so content with hs life. Once again maintains a focus upon the positives and not the sole negative. Caesura Stress Points Allows the points Lou
has brought up to sink in, and show the luck he has expirienced. "Which of you wouldn't consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even a day?" Erotema Asking a rhetorical question
to the reader as a transition or as a thought-provoking tool before proceeding. In refernce to the ballplayers. Lou uses this
trope to reinforce his earlier claim that he is "the luckiest man on earth". Repetition of the begining clauses. Hyperbole "You would give your right arm [...]" Exageration Serves to bolster his argument on
how lucky he is. Emphasizes the positives
of the situation over the negatives, and shows how special his life was. Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day?Sure I’m lucky.Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy?Sure I’m lucky. When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift - that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies -- that’s something.When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter -- that’s something.When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body -- it’s a blessing.When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed -- that’s the finest I know.So, I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for. Euphemism "Bad break" Mild/less harsh usage for a blunt/harsh term Repetition "that's something" Emphasize the great
things that were special
to his life. Also to outweigh
the current cicircumstances. Diction "bad break" "lucky" Postive "I have been in ballparks
for seventeen years [...]" Credibility of the speaker Pathos Emotional Appeal Emphasis on family
Narrative of events that
hold emotional importance
Language with emotion "[...] I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for." Ethos Word Choice Repeating Pause Ironic/Emotional
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