Plastic Pink Flamingo
In “The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History.” author Jennifer Price explains that the lifeless bird symbolizes Americans are lead on by the media and will purchase just about anything to prove their wealthiness.
In Price’s view the United States is consumed with flashy displays of wealth. Americans will partake in anything that is bold or bright. In the first half of the essay, the author discusses the fact that the new popular item on the market is a plastic flamingo, which represents “wealth and pizzazz.” Price’s blunt sentence “But no matter”, after explaining that flamingos had been hunted to extinction in Florida shows, in reality, she is ashamed and angered by this fact, which represents how our old, poor society has died. Even worse she explains how businesses succeeded off of selling flamingo products or naming businesses after flamingos. Flamingos “stand out” in one’s lawn which shows “extravagance and “boldness” in analogizing for the generation raised in the Depression. People spent money on a useless plastic bird – a foolish action none would have thought to do before this. Jennifer Price use of such emphatic words let readers imagine strong or rather bold nature or American culture.
The 1950s was definitely a time of change for many Americans. These people had overcome a great hardship and were ready for a new start. Jennifer Price relates in her essay that American culture was very strong and powerful at the time. Price makes Americans of the 1950s seem frivolous Price continues this effect by further explaining Americans’ obsession with the color pink, describing their sense of style has grown bolder and noticeable. Americans “brighten” things to make them attractive and to make profits. Price gives examples of household items that come in all shades of pink, including Elvis Presley’s pink Cadillac.
The author begins the last paragraph with yet another sarcastic remark, by asking “Why, after all, call the birds pink flamingos as if they could be blue or green?” because this statement was toward the end of the essay some may think that Price is making a final statement. She supports her idea by further explaining that the color of the plastic flamingo was not even accurate to that of the real flamingos. Price, it can be assumed, dislikes society carefree attitude shown through how Americans have not respected the flamingo, as Egyptians, early Christians, Mexicans, and Caribbean people did. Perhaps we do not think of the pink flamingo today when the word “wealth” pops in mind, but the need to show is still with us. It may be the cell phones flashed by every teenager or even the designer clothes worn by one. Jennifer Price has criticized American’s culture and belief. Regardless, Price explains how she views today’s society through the example of the pink plastic flamingo.