American University College Writing 101 Spring 2017

Reading Analysis 5

In his book City of Rhetoric, at the end of the ninth chapter, Fleming states “I hope the answers offered in this book can be of use as the twenty-first century unfolds” (210). These answers offered in the book respond to Fleming’s questions: “What lessons do we learn from our cities today?” and “Can they be refashioned to impart better lessons to our children and our children’s children?” (210). His book seems to be quite dark, even with this message of hope for the future. He says on the final page of the afterword “Looking back on these stories, I realize that the prospects do not, on their surface, look good” (214). Fleming does give three reasons to be hopeful, however. First, he says that design is innovative and new. With that, there are “ever-present possibilities for experimentation and initiative” (214). Second, Fleming says that even the people who don’t seem to be coming around to the idea of changing our ways will eventually have to because our built environment is killing the earth. Finally, Fleming gives the reason that he is and always will be hopeful for the future because of all the young people in the world who recognize and understand the issues he’s trying to teach. By being members of a “strong public,” young people will demand those publics in the real world (214). Fleming leaves off with a dire message directed at myself and my fellow classmates. He seems to be saying although there’s nothing more he can do than bring the issues of our built environment to our attention, those reading his work have the opportunity to make a change.

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