Our Time for Change…Look Around You

Reading Analysis 5

In David Fleming’s final chapter of City of Rhetoric, he summarizes the main points made throughout the book, and argues that the only way to overcome adversity within cities is to find a new interest and work as one unit. Furthermore, Fleming suggests “to bring us closer physically and discursively, we will need to devote ourselves much more vigorously to building healthy, strong, diverse publics”(214). Therefore, from this we can see that Fleming still has hope for unified places in which all people work towards building a strong community. More specifically, Fleming brings this concept up by preaching “we need to learn a language of civic life…conflict over harmony”(205).

Fleming begins the final chapter titled “City of Rhetoric” by outlining what exactly a conclusion should do. Fleming says that conclusions “should leave us in an attitude of profound humility toward the built world”(195). Therefore, in this chapter, Fleming aims to tie all of the pieces of his book together and leave the reader with a final closing idea. For Fleming, this broad, conclusory idea is that “we need new designs and policies that bring us together without assimilating us together”(203). In other words, re-shaping society to be more inclusive and welcoming is not easy, however, with new legislation and a common goal it is possible. In addition, Fleming points out that it is crucial to not lose our unique characteristics, but rather join them together; cohabit.

To close out his book, City of Rhetoric, David Fleming leaves readers with complete optimism that united places are possible. In his final words he asks the reader to consider a few questions. These include: “What lessons do we learn from our cities today? Can they be refashioned to impart better lessons to our children and our children’s children? Now, as citizens in a complex society it is our duty to think about these things. Take a look around you.

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