Another example from Thank You for Arguing that qualifies as a symbol—not just an illustration of one particular concept—is the drunken rant that Jay Heinrichs’s friend Gianni delivers in the final chapter of the book. Gianni is talking about how Americans are fat because they drink too much water. While this argument isn’t meant to be taken seriously by either Heinrichs or Gianni, it symbolizes the playful joy of rhetoric, a joy that contemporary American society largely denies itself.
The timeline below shows where the symbol Gianni’s Drunken Rant appears in Thank You for Arguing. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 28: Run an Agreeable Country: Rhetoric’s Revival
...Italian Riviera and ate dinner with two locals, Gianni and Carlo. Gianni went on a drunken rant about how Americans are fat because they drink too much water, and then began arguing... (full context)