Presentation on theme: "#1 – Who is the speaker? The speaker of the speech is Lou Gehrig, a baseball hero and ALS victim. Gehrig, known as the Iron Horse, held the record for."— Presentation transcript:
#1 – Who is the speaker? The speaker of the speech is Lou Gehrig, a baseball hero and ALS victim. Gehrig, known as the Iron Horse, held the record for consecutive games played and was one the greatest sluggers of all time. While Lou Gehrig was a famous baseball player, he presents himself as a common man who is modest and thankful for the opportunities he has had. He asserts that he is “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” This is his persona, the character he is showing to his audience.
#2 – What is the subject? The subject of this speech is Gehrig’s illness. He frequently refers to his “bad break,” though he does not ask for sympathy and he does not dwell in self-pity. He acknowledges the subject of his speech – his illness – by saying farewell to baseball; because of his diagnosis he will no longer be able to play baseball.
#3 – Who is the audience? Gehrig’s audience included multiple people. His audience included his teammates and the fans in the stadium that day. The audience also included the teams he played against; he cites the generosity of the “New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat.” Finally, his audience could include fans listening to his speech on the radio and us, future audiences who would listen to Gehrig’s moving farewell.
#4 – What does the speaker know about the audience? The speaker is suffering from his illness, so he knows a great deal about the subject of the speech. He knows that his illness will not allow him to play baseball anymore, which is why he must give a farewell speech. He knows that his illness is really unfortunate, since he refers to ALS as a “bad break.”
#5 – What does the speaker know about the audience? The speaker knows that his audience cares about him and cares about baseball. He knows that many of them are everyday Americans, so he ensures that he can relate to them. He talks about his mother and father, his mother-in-law, and his wife, and accepts his face with dignity, honor, humility, and even a touch of humor. Throughout his speech, Gehrig maintains his focus: to thank his fans and teammates for their support.
#6 – What is the relationship between the audience and the subject? The audience is upset about the subject, Gehrig’s illness. His illness is paralyzing and ending his baseball career. Because the audience includes his fans, we can safely assume they are disappointed that Gehrig can no longer play baseball.
#7 – How does the audience view the speaker? The audience likely believes that Lou Gehrig is brave and humble. Gehrig is thanking the audience for all of their support, and maintains how lucky and blessed he is. He ends his speech by asserting that he has “an awful lot to live for.” He is demonstrating a can-do American spirit, so the audience will relate to him.
#8 – What is the occasion (context) for the text? The occasion is first and foremost Gehrig’s recent announcement of his illness and his subsequent retirement. For such a durable and powerful athlete to fall victim to a disease that strips away strength and coordination seemed an especially cruel fate. By the time he gave his speech, Gehrig was so weak he needed his manager to help walk out of the mound for the ceremony. Finally, the occasion is July 4, Independence Day. Gehrig, a famous player of America’s favorite pastime, is demonstrating his appreciation of his fans and the American values they all share – humility, grace, humor, and dignity.