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The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History by Jennifer Price

Decent Essays
Jennifer Price, in her essay "The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History," highlights the American culture's ridiculous obsession with displaying wealth through her use of diction, tone, and simile/metaphor. She depicts American culture as nonsensical, and thus ridiculous, because of its disposal of normal standards or logic in order to fulfill its materialistic desires which is shown through the popularity of the pink plastic flamingo in the 1950s.
Price's word choice emphasizes her feelings toward American culture. For example, Price's nonchalant use of the phrase, "But no matter," (line 15) after describing how Americans had hunted the flamingos in Florida to extinction in the 1800s, sarcastically mocks the aloof attitude of the
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Thus, the only way American culture would integrate such a bird would be if it had a "claim to boldness" (line 30) that gave it value, and it does. The flamingo is “synonymous with wealth and pizzazz” (line 8) in American eyes, and Americans will adopt even the atypical flamingo to gain affluence.
Price's use of similes/metaphors reveal her views on American culture. For instance, at the end of her essay, Price compares the plastic flamingo to a real flamingo. However, instead of describing the real flamingo as wading across a sea of water, she describes it as “wading across an inland sea of grass.” (line 61) This shows Americans clouding up the image of a real flamingo in order to suit their own interests. Instead of having flamingos in water like they are meant to be, they make fake flamingos to display on lawns in order to exhibit “leisure and extravagance.” (line 19) Another example would be when Price describes many flamingo based buildings such as motels, restaurants, and lounges that sprang up all across the country in the 1950s. (line 26) She compares these flamingo based buildings to “semiotic sprouts” (line 28) that just shout out “flamingo” in order to take advantage of the flamingo trend. These buildings using the “namesake Flamingo” (line 27) adopted this new trend and threw out the old in order to “stand out” (line 25) and draw in “riches.” (line 22) Thus, this shows the adaption of the new trend, no matter how much it had deviated from the norm, in order
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