Flamingo Essay

Submitted By emv123
Words: 632
Pages: 3

Plastic Pink Flamingo Interpretation
Ever since pop culture took off in the early 1900’s Americans have been fascinated with anything that eluded fame and prosperity; no matter how bizarre the fad was. Everything from waterbeds in the 80’s to ant farms in the 60’s and even plastic pink flamingos in the 50’s were considered a necessity. In Jennifer Price’s essay “The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History,” she criticizes American culture and its people for their ignorance and appetite to fit.

It’s no surprise that Americans can be unintentionally inconsiderate at times. She hints this theme by tactically including the contrasting words “Plastic Pink Flamingo” and “Natural” together in the title. This theme is also stressed through Price’s critical yet mocking tone of how Americans not only hunted Flamingo’s, but hunted them “to extinction” in the late 1800’s. Price points out this ironic plot twist of how the once worthless species returned as an emblem of “wealth and pizzazz” in the 50’s. Countries such Ancient Egypt, Mexico, and the Caribbean cherish the value of the flamingo deep within their cultural roots. On the other hand, Americans acknowledged the bird after it was deemed a symbol of the upper class even if they had no genuine attachment to the Flamingo. She also makes the connection that there are five species of flamingos in the world “all of which feed in flocks on algae and invertebrates in saline and alkaline lakes in mostly warm habitats.” This definition is clearly ill fit for the life of the American “Plastic Pink Flamingo” which lives not in flocks, but alone perched on a green lawn in “Temperate New England;” the polar opposite of an actual flamingo’s necessary habitat.

Another tactical literary device Price takes advantage of is connotation. Americans recently had escaped from hard economic times during the Great Depression. Instead of long grey days and dark colors representing their gloomy past, people favored bright new splotches of color that represented a brighter future. Price notes upon the overwhelming hues of this era including “tangerine, broiling magenta, livid pink, and Congo ruby.” Americans took colors such as orange, pink, and red and accentuated these ordinary tints with a twist. This connotation bombards the reader’s mind with a lot of color and concentration in one sentence, symbolizing America’s over the top culture. The color of the flamingo…