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Reading Analysis 3


In City of Rhetoric by David Flemming, Flemming aims to convey to the readers that all built environments influence the way people interact with each other. These interactions can be through conversation, public discourse or language. In part two of the book, Flemming provides commentary on different types of subcultures and societies within cities. In this section, he focuses on the suburbs. Fleming talks about why academics have a “thinly veiled disdain” for suburbia as well as talks about the history of suburbia and the suburbs effect of society and vice versa. A man by the name of Gautreaux implemented the Gautreaux Assisted Housing Program in the late 70’s. This was a private, non profit housing program that moved family out of the main city of Chicago and put them in affluent, mainly white, neighborhoods. This new conglomeration of housing soon became the  definition suburbs that we picture today. Fleming gives the definition of what this new housing program turns into. “makes low-density density housing (2) possible, while the fear of urban heterogeneity (3) makes it attractive. As Dolores Hayden has put it, suburbia is the physical expression of the middle-class desire for living in a detached house (2) with like-minded neighbors (3) in a quasi-pastoral setting (1)” ( Fleming pt. 2). The result is a very homogenous group of homes where the look and the personality of the people living in these homes are similar and alike, this negates all types of diversity for the most part, given that a majority of the people living in these homes were alike in race and socioeconomic status. This is a perfect example of how society can be shaped by history. This also exemplifies how long the effects of these subcultures, such as the suburbs, can last.


Intro to my website

My website is an amalgamation of different analysis of the rhetorical message behind a collection of different mediums. On my website I analyze music, paintings, art, philosophy and most importanty, Union Station of D.C.

First starting with my commonplaces. The first few common places in this class were to write about any medium of art we came a cross. This could be writing, art, songs etc.  For the first few commonplaces, just to get a feel of the assignment, I wrote about pieces of writing; mostly philosophy as well as the assigned text of David Fleming. Either writing about J.M Coetez “The lives of animals” or Friedrich Nietzsche’s ” On the genealogy or mortality” and “even the city of rhetoric”  by David Fleming. I found common threads in all of their thinking. The deal with all these philosophers isn’t to confuse or overanalyze the simple things of the world. The goal of philosophers is to discover and explore the meaning and rhetoric effect of ideas that are limited by assumptions or expectations that all of of everyday people think today. For example, when most people see a building, we don’t think twice. Fleming  took the ideas of buildings and went above and beyond. Buildings aren’t just stuck in their location, their built and crafted through the combination of the context of their environment and the vision of the architect. But the building doesn’t stop there, these buildings influence its environment just as the environment influenced the building. My essay goes more in depth on this topic. But nevertheless, philosophers go beyond the preconceived exceptions of why. As a went further into my commonplace’s, I started to experiment with the medium in which I was writing about. Then I started analyzing music. I’ve always been fascinated with artists and the many ways they can get their message across through lyrics, the instrumental aspect as well and their tone. One of the songs that stood out to me was Bruce Springsteen ” Born in the USA” not only is this one of the best songs ever from one of the best albums of all time due to Springsteen spiraling voice that enraptures his ability to bring presence to the microphone, but this song also has a hidden meaning. Its satiric.Almost like rap songs speak in metaphors ( I also analyzed a few rap songs)The whole song is a metaphor. Artist I started to analyze paintings. People say a picture is worth a thousand words. After really analyzing paintings, Ive come to realize that this Is very true. Artists can paint to show literal meanings, metaphoric meanings, or the painting can enraptures their whole philosophy towards life. My commonplaces have little correlation with each other besides the requires analysis’ of Flemings text. You can find my commonplaces here

The next pieces of work that Im going to talk about are my reading analysis’. I like to think of my RA’S as mini essays. Just as I mentioned with my commonplaces, everything has a rhetorical message. The RA’s have the same intention. My goal is to provide an analysis on the rhetorical meaning of the work of literature I’m analyzing. However, the level of analysis is deeper then that of the commonplaces. I also aim to connect how these individual pieces of work relate to the main message of the class.

The next section of my website are my Annotated bibliographies. When crafting my main essay, I needed numerous sources so aid my argument presented through my thesis. Ive gathered articles that fir the BEAM model. Being that my location was Union Station and my Essay was about the rhetoric conveyed by the aesthetics and design of the station, I tried to find articles that talked about the history and transformation of the station over the years as well as the effort and intentions brought to the station by the architects of Union Station as well as the city planners of D.C.

Commonplace 12

The image that I am writing about for this weeks commonplace is a painting by René Magritte. This painting is titled “The Son of Man”. There are many speculations regarding this painting including the man’s relationship to water and any religious affiliations. However, I believe that this painting shares similar ideologies to the painting I wrote about in last weeks commonplace. Magritte liked to challenge the idea of identity and viewer’s relationship to something they assume to be a fact. In this painting, viewers assume there to be a man’s face under the apple. But because this is a painting the only thing there is a painting of an apple. There is no mans face painted under the apple. That’s just what we assume. Just like we assume the word apple to represent a physical apple. We assume there to be a face under the apple here. Magritte liked the idea that language assumed hierarchy. That the word apple is greater than the apple itself. An apple would never be an apple without its label. This painting is almost a visual representation of that idea. That assumptions are even made visually, not only verbally.  

Annotated Bib 78

“Washington, DC Fact Sheet.”,, 9 Mar. 2017,

The first first source that I am chasing to write about is an collection of statistics about D.C.  Everything from demographic information of the citizens of D.C to the climate to different information about the universities in D.C. However the most valuable parts of information on this website that are helpful to my website are the traveling information. The specific information that I am planning on using from this website are the statistics on the transportation and visitor statistics. The transportation information illustrates the number of translations, train stops, types of public transportation including busses, trains and taxis. The visitor stats illustrate how many visitors per year visit the attractions such as the monuments, memorials and museums. I think that this source is mainly a background source. I could also argue that this is an exhibit source too. I could use specific facts from this article to analyze the frequency and practicality of Union Station. However, I feel that doing that sort of analysis would require a lot of assumptions due to the lack of specific information regarding Union Station. I would mainly be drawing conclusions basesed on the travel statistics and about of visitors to the attractions. This source acts as a background source much better because it offers me context to the popularity and visitation frequency of D.C.

“Burnham Place at Union Station .” Burnham Place at Union Station

The second source that I am writing about is an article that outlines the goals and the mindset of the main architect that designed Union Station, Daniel Burnham. This article is short but actually really informative on the purpose of the station. This article illustrates how versatile Union station can be. Not only is it a transportation Mecca for people all around the country, but it also serves as a shopping center and a national landmark. The article describes Union Station as a ” Multi- Modal station”. The article comments on the unique architectural design that allows for more then the conventional about of people to occupy the station. This was a practical decision that is perfect for the use of a train station. This article is exactly what I was looking for when trying to connect the design of the station to its practicality. For this reason, Im going to be using this source as a method, using the concepts regarding the design of the train station and apply it to my rhetorical analysis.

Annotated Bib 5+6


“Union Station’s ‘Forgotten’ Historic Interior Spaces.” Streets of Washington, Streets of Washington, Accessed 9 Apr. 2017.

I am going to be using this source as my exhibit. Because my main topic of discussion throughout this essay is talking about the effects of the aesthetics of union station, this article is perfect. The main point of this article is analyzing and giving context to the different rooms and structures. The article talks about the structures on the inside and outside of the building. This source also has pictures to go with the descriptions, just like my essay. I am easily able to implicate this source in to my essay. For most of the essay I am analyzing different aesthetic aspects of the station. With this source as my exhibit, I am able to use examples from the text to not only give me a better understanding of the station it self, but also use the specific examples in the text as evidence to my claims throughout the essay.

“Washington – Union Station, DC (WAS).” Great American Stations, Great American Stations

This source is the perfect background source for my essay. This article gives a brief overview of the history of the train station’s history. The article also talks about L’Enfant. L’Enfant was the architect who built the mall and who strategically placed the station at the top of the mall. In my essay I speak about the rhetorical effect of the station being placed where it is. What I really like about this article is that it talks an immense about about the design of the station as well as the design of DC as a whole. This article also offers statistical information regarding the station. I can use both the information about the construction of D.C/ Union Station as well as use the statistical information to have a better understanding of the rhetorical meaning of the D.C train station as a whole. With this information readily available, my essay can flow better

Using Man Made Environments to Stimulate Economy, diversity and Density in Metropolitan Areas

Patrick Muyskens


8 February 2017

In David fleming’s book “ The City of Rhetoric”, Fleming argues that the man made and built environments that make up our city evoke conversation, conflict, public discourse and even capital. The specific way in which these cities are designed alter the way that communities act with one another as well as interact with the world around them. In the preface of the book, flemming claims that the organization the United States between 1865 and 1915 aided the emergence of the country as a whole buy structuring the city scapes in such a manner that was inviting to the immigrant population as well as enticing enough to move the country further economically.  

“…the massive urbanization of the United States, as the size and population of the nation’s cities swelled from both foreign immigration and internal migration; the heightened diversification of those cities, as residents from different racial, ethnic, religious, economic, and linguistic backgrounds suddenly came into close contact with one another; the rapid industrialization of the period, which saw not only increased capital concentration but also recurring financial panic” (Flemming 39)

In this particular example, Flemming’s main point is to highlight the success of America and how it’s grown over the years due to the infrastructure of the City. In this specific example, the political affiliation and conflict that cities conjure is less prominent. However the more positive aspects of the effects of these cities are illustrated. The urbanization of america offers a meeting place for immigrants all over, the advancement of technology is demonstrated throughout the cities, thus inviting a more diverse crowd.

This description of America during the 1900’s was merely an example of how influential and persuasive the infrastructure and rising of cities can be. America grew from nothing to one of the most diverse cities in the world. Immigrants referred to America as the new world because of the potential and the diversity that this country offered. This example was merely just the surface of the influence and power that cities have

Works Cited

David Fleming. City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America (Kindle Locations 42-47). Kindle Edition.


Born In The USA

For this commonplace, I am choosing to write about the song “ Born In the U.S.A” by bruce springsteen.

“ Got in a little hometown jam

So they put a rifle in my hand

Sent me off to a foreign land

To go and kill the yellow man”

From first glance, this song seems like a patriotic song about guns and America. However, when you dive deeper into the lyrics, I soon realized that this song was satirical. In this excerpt, the lyrics talk about how America forced the speaker into fighting a race oriented war due to legal troubles that he faced back home. Addressing the government as “they” implies the impersonal and almost negative relationship the speaker has with the government. In addition to this, springsteen words his lyrics in a way that makes it seem like he’s being forced to war against his will. Using statements like “ Sent me off” and “ to go and kill”. These statements don’t seem voluntary. Painting a negative and flawed government system that America holds.


Understanding language as a Communication Barrier

The quote that I am analyzing is from The Lives of Animals by J.M Coetzee.

“Kafka saw both himself and Red Peter as hybrids, as monstrous thinking devices mounted inexplicably on suffering animal bodies.”(30)

This quote is meaningless before describing the context in which the sentence was stated. Kafka is a human stuck in an unfamiliar environment, such as a job interview, giving a big presentation, or meeting a significant other’s’ parents for the first time. Red peter is an ape, being studied by humans. Coetzee is stating that both humans and animals stuck in an unfamiliar environment are the same because, mainly, of the language barrier. Coetzee is arguing that the unfamiliar dialect of formal speaking is just as broken and gets just as lost in translation as humans trying to speak to animals. Using the words “ hybrids” and “mounted” conveys a man made, less organic creation rather than a person. This sentence works because it demonstrates the inorganic and forced relationship that humans and animals alike have. This in addition to using aggressive adjectives such as “monstrous” helps convey the author’s negative opinion on the subject