“Stay hungry, Stay foolish” by Steve Jobs

Expression is influenced by context and environment or audience. In order to analyze gender perspectives in a speech, it is of essence to appreciate type of the audience, purpose of the expression, position of the speaker, and gender.

Irrespective of current perceptions, the intension of expression is part and parcel of learning through exchange of opinions and collaboration. Thus, this reflective treatise attempts to identify and explain gender aspects in the speech “Stay hungry. Stay foolish” by Steve Jobs presented at Stanford University. In addition, the analysis resonates on actions rather than perceptions.

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In order to interpret gender in Steve Job’s speech, it is essential to embrace conversation analytic approach. The focus is based on perception of the speaker on gender categories. To begin with, the essay concentrates on the conundrums of speech reflection on compatible ‘analytic stances’.

In the introductory part, Steve uses ‘adjacency pairs’ in presenting responsive pairs of different circumstances occurring in sequence. This is common among male speakers. For instance, Steve avers, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma” and relates this to his childhood.

Steve is assertive and use commanding language across the speech. He has full control of the direction of the speech and strong mastery of the subject. Despite the fact that his line of action to drop out of collage was risky at the time, he has learnt to follow instinct. Consequently, his success was based on personal initiative and not largely influenced by perceptions and views of people surrounding him. Related to gender, Steve’s character depicts male competence and credibility associated with ‘men’s language’ as risk takers.

At subconscious level, the speech is presented in an acquiescent tone with precise description of events and opinion. In addition, Steve uses humor to cover up the less apologetic intonation on controversial aspects of collage life and ultimate drop put. He is certain in the declarative statements such as “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”. Instead of using modal constructions such as ‘should or would’, Steve is sure about his next line of action.

Steve’s personality is modest. In fulfilling his role as the speaker, he reminds the audience of the need for determination and personal initiative when handling dreams. As a matter of fact, the title of the speech reaffirms this personality. Interestingly, the aspect of multiple personae plays out across the speech.

From the beginning through to the end, Steve is a socialite who uses polite words to trivialize sensitive issues in an appealing way to the audience. As a public speaker who is sensitive of the type of audience and environment from where a conversation is based, Steve dominates in the properly presented speech. He is ‘context specific’ and fulfills the purpose of the speech. Raised in an environment of different subcultures and expectations, Steve has learnt the essence of continuous learning despite these variances.

Steve is consistent in creativity and formal approach to emotive issues. Despite deep emotions his story attracts, he refrains from using emotional words and indirectness. Rather, the intonation is plain and void of declaratives and diminutives.

Conclusively, Steve’s speech indicates dominance as the language used is commanding, emotion-free, and assertive. Despite the emotive aspects in the speech, the author is plain and would rather prefer formal approach in discussing them to the audience.


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