The Plastic Pink Flamingo: a Natural History
The Materialism of Americans in The Plastic Pink Flamingo
With a sarcastic tone, writer Jennifer Price describes the relationship between the notorious pink flamingo and common culture in an effort to highlight the materialism of Americans during the 1950’s.
Irony and Sarcasm
Price immediately exhibits her sarcastic tone with the title of her essay – “The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History.” This is rather ironic, as she portrays a piece of cheap, pink plastic as something that has sculpted our society in a monumental way. To most educated readers, this would seem bizarre, which is the writer’s goal: for the reader to fully grasp how unfitting it is to have this cheap piece of plastic as a social icon. In conjunction with the previous idea, Price begins her essay with bold diction by emphasizing how tourists are often “flocking” to Florida and departing with new flamingo souvenirs. As a result, the flamingo became “synonymous with wealth.” The author illustrates, in this case, how the flamingo is now the “face” of Florida, now being used as something for Floridians to make a profit from. Price continues with her use of irony and sarcastic tone, specifically when discussing the two differing ideas that are separated by the short sentence, “But no matter.” Prior to this statement, Price acknowledges how flamingos were previously looked down upon and almost hunted to the brink of their extinction. However, following this short sentence, Price highlights the popularity that the flamingo gained during the 1950s. These two ideas contradict each other, clearly, which further manifests the idea that Americans now “worshipping” this molded piece of plastic is undoubtedly ironic.
Simile and Repetition
In conjunction with her use of irony, Price employs a simile in order to further clarify her feelings towards flamingos in American culture. Repeatedly mentioning pink and its multiple, equally exciting shades further emphasizes the flamingo’s unnecessary prevalence in American society. Although the color may be seemingly insignificant, it has become a social norm: “Washing machines, cars, and kitchen counters.” According to Price, the level of idolization has exceeded to new heights; heights that should have never been reached. In 1950s America, restaurants and other businesses in Florida are “like a line of semiotic sprouts,” implementing these flamingos left and right as if they are an imperative factor in the success of their businesses.
Jennifer Price’s essay is merely a part of the whole story: the American adoration of the iconic pink flamingo, therefore, representing the true foolishness of American pop culture.
The Debasement of American Culture in The Plastic Pink Flamingo by Jennifer Price
In ‘The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History,’ Jennifer Price applies the cultural fixation of the plastic pink flamingos with the debasement and self-importance of American culture during the ahead of schedule to mid-1900’s. Through her utilization of reference, incongruity, phrasing, and broadened representation inside the whole piece, Price ridicules society for its self important goals. The expressed ‘two significant cases to intensity’ both display our way of life’s avarice with the flamingo speaking to riches while it being pink embodies its ostentatiousness. Price’s wry tone all through the paper appears to deride society and its indulgent principles.
Price references numerous conspicuous individuals in this piece like ‘criminal Benjamin ‘Bugsy,” Tom Wolfe, Karal Ann Marling, and Elvis Presley. Nonetheless, after every one of these implications were made, an appositive, a word or expression that renames the thing, didn’t pursue both of the inferences to clarify who the individual was and their noteworthiness. Price’s thinking in doing this was to include ethos and epitomize that these individuals were probably notable in those days. Price’s utilization of understood individuals adds validity to her contention and shows that society hops on the alleged ‘fleeting trend.’
The unexpected tone of this entry helps with promoting Price’s theory of social eagerness and debasement. The way that the flamingo is thought to speak to riches is unexpected, in light of the fact that in Florida in the 1800’s flamingos were pursued to elimination while now they are believed to be sumptuous. In places like Mexico and Egypt, they were believed to be fairly sacrosanct. The second utilization of incongruity is expressed in the last passage where the plastic flamingo is said to be superior to a genuine one. Maybe the most evident bit of incongruity is the title, ‘The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History.’ Plastic and common contradict each other which establishes the pace for the whole entry. Price proceeds with her amusing and frequently taunting tone when she expresses that the flamingos ‘feed in groups on green growth and spineless creatures’ which doesn’t present a picture of riches and luxury like it is thought to speak to.
Price uses a particular lingual authority in the paper to taunt the showiness of the flamingos. Words, for example, of ‘sprinkled,’ ‘rushing,’ and ‘desert spring’ are intended to parallel the typical and regular vision of a flamingo while our way of life overstates its uniqueness and renown. Nonetheless, it expresses that the flamingo is ‘synonymous with riches and style’ which repudiates Price’s lingual authority of giving the flamingo its normal sense.
All through the whole paper, Price uses an all-inclusive allegory which looks at this normal creature, the flamingo, to an indulgent way of life. The way that the fowl is an uncommon pink is thought to make it progressively significant and increasingly alluring which adds to its ‘strength.’ This analogy is mocking in tone and speaks to the self-importance and garish beliefs of our general public by the juxtaposition of the regular excellence of the flamingo to a bit of empty plastic garden stylistic layout.
Through Price’s utilization of clear incongruity, phrasing, an all-encompassing representation, and implications, she endeavors to show to the peruser the debasement of our general public. In spite of the fact that it is an odd and bizarre methodology because of the subject being plastic pink flamingos, Price’s frame of mind is obvious and effectively convinces the peruser to grasp her perspective while as yet captivating the peruser.
The Analysis of American Mindset in The Pink Flamingo by Jennifer Price
In her essay, “The Pink Flamingo: A Natural History”, Jennifer Price does provide a brief history of the flamingo, both plastic and the live animal. Yet she does more than just describe a bond between the two. Rather, her word choice, tone, and use of examples create a far more significant insight and analysis of American culture and the American mindset.
The essay begins with a sense of excitement created by the very active verb “splashed” and an equally striking adjective “boldness”. Indeed, she begins the piece in a bold way. The analysis however, becomes climatic when she takes the two major claims. Essentially, she argues that the pink flamingo was popular because it was a flamingo and also the fact that it was pink. This intentional use of the obvious established by the second line, even emphasized by italics, already lays the foundation for her opinion on American culture. The fact that this object became popular for these reasons reveals the ways in which the collective American mind forms its desires.
The remainder of the opening paragraph simply establishes background about the flamingo. After that though, the author continues to give indications of what she thinks of culture in the United States. Her argument that used flamingos to reveal prosperity, and especially important notion following the Great Depression, appears to be a valid interpretation. Price appeals to authority in some ways by quoting two well known authors. Her other examples are more telling. She cites a gangster, Benjamin Bugsy Siegel, and his hotel as basis for the striking nature of the flamingo. When explaining the popularity of the pink flamingo, she brings up Elvis. Thus, flamingos became popular across the U.S., or to use her simile, was “cropped up like a line of semiotic spouts”, because of these sights with which Americans were familiar. While there may be a sound basis for this movement, such as post-Repression affluence, Price goes beyond that. These examples show that American culture is trendy, that American purchasing posters patterns are based on those of public figures. Even the Ann Marlings quote she chose reflects that Americans bought pink because it was the coolest thing to do.
Price’s selection of quotes and examples is the tone she uses selectively but effectively. Her sarcasm is questioning in the stand-alone fragment in line 15, “But no matter”. The Americans nearly wiped out this bond, but that was unimportantly then. This surely contrasts with both generic sentiment and especially her scholarly audience. It therefore reflects what she thinks Americans find important. Things that defies conventional wisdom and morality were a non-issues. Later in the essay, she asks a rhetorical question, (lines 46-47). Besides entertaining the reader, she uses this device to further the importance of the color pink. Price then illustrates further absurdly of making the plastic bird unnecessarily brighter than the real one. This leads her to the conclusion that it is “[no] wonder” that the bird stood out in a brighter form outside of its natural environment. Once again she is playing on the obviousness of what she is describing.
Through these various techniques, Price is this able to connect on both a specific phenomenon and it’s more general implications. Examples, word choice, and especially tone help reveal that she finds flaws in the American thought process. This is most true when it comes to the basis for the American trends. She is able to get this message across not specifically through her words, but the implications that occur on a second level.
Describing Of Materialism Of American Society in The Plastic Pink Flamingo
Applying a contemplative, satirical tone, Jennifer Price’s essay “The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History” exposes the prevalence of materialism in American society and how the flamingo became an icon of class affluence and superficiality during the mid-1950s.
Jennifer Price instantly opens her essay by stating why the flamingo was so symbolic – because “it was a flamingo.” By stating the obvious, Price establishes the clear “boldness” of the flamingo which, overtime, has become associated with the “wealth and pizzazz” a majority of American society longingly craved. Soon enough, the original grand hotel in Miami Beach, Florida was opened and called, inevitably, the Flamingo, with many more “modest hotels” trailing its footsteps. This almost instantaneous popularity of the pink flamingo amongst middle and working class households further emphasizes America’s tendency to place excessive sentimental value on material objects, displaying Price’s criticism of American greed and triviality.
In contrast, Price reveals an irony behind the abrupt appreciation for the flamingo by accentuating the near extinction of the flamingo in the late 1800s for “plumes and meat,” another emblem of American opulence. Not only did the plastic flamingo reach mainstream culture in Florida but also in Las Vegas and as far north as New Jersey, signifying the enchantment of America with the “leisure” and “extravagance” the flamingo so brazenly epitomized. Price’s connotation of wealth with the flamingo can also be traced back to Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel who drew “instant riches” with the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, a “flamboyant oasis” in contrast to the scorching heat of the Mojave Desert. The immediate dispersion of the plastic pink flamingo into average family lifestyles further underlines Price’s sardonic commentary on the fascination of American society with grandeur and material possessions.
Price asserts that the flamingo’s second “claim to boldness” was that it was pink, a color bright and gaudy, just like the new generation that was prepared to rejoice in their newly acquired taste for the “electrochemical pastels of the Florida littoral.” According to Price, the connection of the flashy color with social icons such as Elvis Presley and Karal Ann Marling illustrated the influence of the prosperous and financially secure over mainstream pop culture values. Price once again exhibits her disdain for American triviality by questioning why Americans call plastic pink flamingoes “pink” – as if flamingoes could be another color. Price concludes with a thoughtful justification as to why America adored the flamingo to the extent that they did, tracing the flamingo’s intimate link with the rich and powerful all the way to “[e]arly Christians” as the red phoenix and “ancient Egypt[ians]” as the embodiment of the sun god Ra.
In all its artificial magnificence and pink glory, the flamingo offers a glimpse into the American mindset: a proclivity towards flashiness and veneration of material possessions that have continuously shaped, and reshaped, America’s cultural identity.
Jennifer Price’s Perspective on American Culture and its Values in the 50′, a Critical Review
In the essay “The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History”, Jennifer Price explores the intriguing character of pink flamingo in America. She dives into the flamingo’s enigmatic symbolism and highlights aspects of the country’s culture. Through her utilization of word choice and a sarcastic tone, Price provides analysis on American culture and conveys her distaste for its values in the 1950s.
Price begins her essay by explaining the origin of the flamingo’s popularity. She points out that the flamingo’s popularity rose on the premise that it was simply “a flamingo”. Her use of italics while stating the obvious mocks the irrational mindset of American culture- acting foolishly to exhibit one’s wealth to the world- that led to the bird’s popularity. Price finds the situation comical and conveys the irony of American antics. She alludes to the past in which Americans hunted Florida’s flamingos to extinction for it’s resources, yet it was no matter- a hundred years later, flamingos would “inscribe one’s lawn emphatically” as a sign of leisure and extravagance. Prominently, individuals decorated their lawns with a plastic flamingo to associate themselves with the prosperous individuals of society- despite the bird being taking for granted and slaughtered in the past. The reader understands the correlation of the flamingo with extravagance and luxury in the country, and realizes the ignorant desire of Americans to express their status in society. Ultimately, the bird was a symbol of American’s desire to flaunt their affluence and the ignorance of American culture.
Price continues by asserting that the flamingo’s conspicuous color was appealing to Americans in the 1950s. She describes the extravagant plethora of colors that plastic industries favored including “tangerine, broiling magenta,” and hot pink, which remained the dominant color of the decade. Her specificity emphasizes that the coloring of products in the country was unnecessary. Undoubtedly at the time, Americans wanted to celebrate and express their pride in a new era of prosperity following the Great Depression- even if it meant the production of lavish items and opposing traditional decorum. Additionally, Price provides examples of celebrities who sported pink luxuries such as Elvis Presley who “bought a pink Cadillac” after getting signed on his first recording contract. Her association of pink with fame conveys that popularity was a valued aspect of American society. Thus, the working class also purchased pink products that famous individuals possessed. Evidently, American culture was also shaped by foolish desires of fame and to fit in with society.
Jennifer Price also compares and contrasts the symbolism of the pink flamingo in America with other countries of the world. She claims that the flamingo had cultural importance in various countries including Ancient Egypt where it “symbolized the sun god Ra” and remains a “major motif” in Mexico and the Caribbean for art- so it’s not a wonder why it stood out to America. Since other countries rendered the flamingo as a figure of importance, Americans latched onto its image and started implementing the pink flamingo into the country’s culture. Individuals coveted attention or to be noticed by others, which was expressed by their property. It is apparent that the country wanted to remain of significance and relevance to the rest of the world. Prominently, Price conveys that American culture at the time had become superficial.
The history of the pink flamingo in American culture offers a fascinating perception on the country’s values at the time. Without a doubt, the plastic flamingo reflected values of the American culture and was a symbol of its flashy and, arguably, foolish lifestyle in the 1950s.
Critical Review of The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History
The Pink Flamingo
In Jennifer Price’s essay, “The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History,” she reveals her optimistic view of United States culture by comparing the characteristics of the iconic pink flamingo to the mindset of Americans with allusions to other cultures and descriptive diction.
Price’s parrallelism to the effects of the flamingo and mindset of America is clearly shown with cultural allusions. As Price reveals her hope and view that the generation is being reborn she alludes to the associations of the flamingo, “Early CHristians associated it with the red phoenix.” Jennifer Price includes this specific example to emphasize the relation between two birds–flamingo and phoenix. From her viewpoint the flamingo, which represents Americans, is being reborn out of the ashes, as the Phoenix is known for. The rising from the ashes refers her previous that the flamingo’s life and color was “just right for a generation, raised in the Depression, that was ready to celebrate its new affluence.” Price’s cultural allusion to Mexico and the Caribbean that the flamingo “remains a major motif in art, dance, and literature,” further emphasizes her view of the United States culture revolutionizing its education. Americans are understanding, exceeding, and developing their artistic talents, bringing to life a boldness that “the people who lived near these places have always singled out the flamingo as special.” Surrounding countries and are taking notice of the unique qualities “flamingos” have to offer.
The synonymous diction and qualities of miscellanous objects are manipulated by Price to hint at her mindset of American culture. Her humour is evident in her opening statement, “[The flamingo] staked two major claims to boldness. First it was a flamingo (italicized).” The choice of a flamingo was already bad to begin with. Price’s repetition of the word “boldness” accompanied with “flamboyant,” “extravagance,” and “wealth and pizazz” are timely placed for the reader to imply her views on the current culture. Price saw this as a gleeful, jubilant celebration for all citizens of America. Unlike the Gilded Age of America which provided glamour in order to mask corruption and scandal, the pink flamingo “splashed” into an “oasis of instant riches. The second bold claim, as Price describes, was the choice of color. Her rhetorical questioning in the last paragraph emphasizes the importance of choosing a color that “stands out in a desert even more strikingly than on a lawn.” Price’s hope of the bold revival can be inferred from her contrast that American culture is more extravagant because of the economic travesty it was in befor. Price elaborates on her ideals with her specific adjectives to describe the boldness of pink. “Passion pink, sunset pink…,” Price views the culture of the United States as one with the “passion” to overcome and the “sunset” that ends an “old-fashioned” era to begin “forward-looking “ into the prospects of the future.
Price crafts her view of American culture with subtlety. Her casualtone when writing about the wonders of the Pink flamingo parrallels to her view of a revolution in America. The turning point and beginning of an upward climb all condensed into the talks of a bold pink flamingo.