Jay Heinrichs uses hundreds of examples from history, pop culture, and his personal life to illustrate his arguments. One example—the little plastic volcano that Heinrichs sends the governor of Washington after mistakenly placing Mount Saint Helens in the wrong state in a magazine story—could also be considered a full-blown symbol. Heinrichs sends the governor the plastic volcano as a way of apologizing for his mistake, humorously thanking the governor for letting him “borrow” Mount Saint Helens. However, in doing so, Heinrichs also demonstrates his practical wisdom and his talents as a communicator. Thus, the plastic volcano symbolizes how rhetoric can help people turn their defeats into victories.
The timeline below shows where the symbol The Plastic Volcano appears in Thank You for Arguing. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 22: Avoid Apologizing: Apple’s Fall
...a magazine story. He apologized to his boss, and then offered to send a small plastic volcano to the governor of Washington, thanking her for letting Oregon “borrow” Mount St. Helens. A... (full context)