Jennifer Price's Flamingo Piece

542 Words3 Pages
The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History The United States’ culture can only be defined by its peoples’ values and actions. Everything we do, buy, or say reflects back onto our nation’s reputation. Given that, American materialistic consumerism sheds a bright light on U.S. culture. Throughout her essay, Price reveals ridiculous effect our materialism & consumerism has on America. “The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History”; the essay’s title alone exposes Price’s overall flippant tone on the subject. Her persuasive piece unfolds the ridiculousness of American consumerism using the example of the flamingo’s rise in the 1950’s. Price aims her writing right at those consumers that continue to purchase unnecessary things. The second paragraph kicks off with an ironic statement, establishing Price’s first tone shift. With her first paragraph being an informative persona, the second paragraph shows her true feelings. The first few sentences of the paragraph explain how Americans had previously hunted flamingos to extinction but were now ironically attracting tourists using the animal. Price goes on to describe three different images of the bird: on people’s lawns as souvenirs, in the Las Vegas desert, and eventually all across the country. Flamingos placed on family’s lawns portrayed the “leisure and extravagance” of their Florida vacation. She describes how the bird gained extra appeal from the “flamboyant oasis of instant riches” that is Las Vegas, speeding the sprouting up of the flamingo across the whole country. By juxtapositioning the three images, Price creates the connotation that once everyone acquired the bold bird, it became less special. Next, the author attacks the birds “commensurate claim to boldness” through its pink color. She quotes Tom Wolfe’s exotic description of the “new electrochemical pastels of the Florida littoral”, calling the
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