City of Rhetoric Introduction Analysis


It has become common today to dismiss history to focus on contemporary issues. However, I believe that history is a contemporary issue, because it is history that paves the way for the future. In other words, what happens today will often have an effect on what happens tomorrow. Fleming in his introduction discusses the immigration in Chicago in the early to mid 20th century, and while this data is ancient in terms of modern statistics on housing and racial background in neighborhoods, it does explain a pattern of housing that has not changed often in multiple cities. One in particular is right here in Washington D.C. As a member of AU’s Community Based Research Scholars program, I have done a plethora of research and projects dealing with D.C.’s demographics. One of the main focuses is the topic of gentrification in D.C. When reading the introduction, I thought of the many similarities that D.C. has to Chicago at this time. When one population is seen as to be the issue to a society, people take action toward that population. And as history often reveals, and does not fail to do so in City of Rhetoric, that population is often immigrants, blacks, and Hispanics. Thus, Fleming’s Built Environment, in my opinion, will explore what is needed to become truly educated on what society’s flaws and strengths are through hidden facts that nobody bothers to look at or study.

City of Rhetoric Preface Analysis


When it comes to the topic of the Built Environment David Fleming discusses, most of us will agree that it exists. Where this argument usually ends however, is on the question of how it exists to an individual’s life. Whereas some are convinced that it is only endemic to certain areas and does not affect them, others maintain that the Built Environment is important to us as a population. Fleming explains in his preface that “I (Fleming) try to situate the environments studied here in stories about how they came to be and plans for what they might become.” Giving an account for the past and future is how City of Rhetoric will explain the Built Environment that has encompassed the US and the world. It explores the hidden rhetoric in situations that people often miss and how things like modern society are in reality. Therefore, the Built Environment, according to Fleming, is so important because it gives a sort of “binocular view” to larger pictures, which in turn will explore perspectives into common situations.

Commonplace 2: Miracle

*Fast forward to 2:20 in the video, it ends at 2:35.

“You better think about something else, each and every one of you. When you pull on that jersey, you represent yourself and your teammates. And the name on the front is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back! Get that through your head!”

Movie title: Miracle

Director: Gavin O’Connor

This quote is said by Coach Herb Brooks played by Kurt Russell in the movie Miracle. It documents the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team and their road to the biggest upset in sports history when playing the Soviet Union’s hockey team. A team of amateurs going up against the big dogs in the Soviet Union was the challenge the team faced, and not to mention the Cold War was at an all time high. Having the world’s superpowers playing each other was a huge deal, and would indirectly say which side was better. In the scene where this line was said, the team plays the Norwegian National team and ties them. Coach Brooks feels that their performance was sub par and makes them do “suicides” or skating up and down the ice repeatedly until everyone is close to passing out. When trying to teach them lessons about being a team, he says this quote, and here is where the meaning can be drawn. It was said in a style to elicit a strong response from the team.  The pauses are difficult to detect in the scripted line, but when watching the movie, there are multiple pauses Coach Brooks uses to place emphasis on the message of being a team and putting the team before yourself. In other words, its diction gives its tone other than the pauses used with words such as teammates and the use of “hell of.” I am a huge fan of the movie. I played hockey up until college for most of my life, so this movie has been my staple for a long time. I workout to this scene as a matter of fact because of its inspirational message and raw power. It has always inspired me, and I feel will continue to do so.

Commonplace 1: Friday Night Lights









“Football reigns, football is king,” she said. “In Odessa, it’s God, Country, and Mojo football.”

Book title: Friday Night Lights

Author: H.G. Bissinger

This quote is said by a Permian High School English teacher in 1988 Odessa, Texas. Friday Night Lights  follows the 1988  Permian High School football team. Their rally cry of “Mojo” unified a small town, and gave many hopes and dreams on the football field Friday nights.  Bissinger is talking about how academic excellence is often pushed aside in PHS in the pursuit of football godliness in the chapter this quote is said. I think its meaning can be elicited by the second part of the quote especially. In the small Texas town of Odessa, it is just three things that give the town meaning. God, Country, and Mojo football. The syntax of the sentence gives these three things its own unique voice, and makes for all emphasis on God, country, and Mojo football to be understood. To me, it is almost like a do or die tone just from that one section. The hidden rhetoric of this sentence screams at me, “This is how it is and always has and will be in Odessa.” I am a huge fan of the movie, TV show, of Friday Night Lights, which is why I am currently reading the book. I expect that in the future of it, it will continue to grip the unique toughness of the PHS Panthers, and will just get better and better.