Jennifer Price used her own style of rhetoric exceptionally well to demonstrate her own individual perspective on the United States. In her essay, “The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History”, Price compares such a minuscule object as a flamingo, with the vast widespread culture of the American society; clearly depicting how American culture was highly based off of the desire to be bold and in vogue with the rest of society. The flamingo lawn ornament created a spark to epidemic of materialistic viewpoints based off of bright, flashy, pink colors.
The new pink trend that was engulfing the nation was influencing every aspect of the daily life. From cars to washing machines, and from famous people to famous places, the flamingo and especially the color pink alone were shaping the new American culture. Ironically, such an outbreak of vibrant and flamboyant colors that were now sweeping the nation, came about after the Depression; such a melancholy period of national devastation.
Price’s essay has adeptly portrayed her standing on how American culture can be strongly influenced by materialistic and trending ideas, just by introducing the influence of a subjective object like the pink flamingo. The result of the influence of the plastic pink flamingo phenomenon, struck the American society with such a major impact that the culture as a whole began to shit from a dismal, dreary decade; to a bright, and jubilant era, that was overwhelming influenced by the color pink.
One of the first major influences of the pink flamingo was in 1946, by a gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel’s hotel, in the middle of a vacant desert, that was conjured by an array of flamboyant colors and named The Flamingo Hotel. The popularity of the pink flamingo continued to grow with the adoption of the name “flamingo” by restaurants and lounges in order to create the allusion of such an elegant appeal that the famous Vegas hotel holds.
The hotel, however, was not only the major influence towards it’s striking popularity; due to the fact that the flamingo was pink, gave people the ideology that since pink was such an intensely bold color option, that being bold was the new trending style. Anything and everything that was manufactured during this new bold based era, could be bought in a new shade of pink. Everyday objects from cars, to washing machines, to counters, could be purchased in pink, and to think that this popularity was built off of a small plastic lawn ornament. The prominent and distinguished singer, Elvis Presley, also marked the new era y purchasing a bright pink Cadillac, for creating that grandiose appeal. The quickly established popularity of the small lawn ornament was created by northern parts of the country wanting to establish the southern appeal of warm, bright colors in their lawn. The flamingo, being known for its extravagance and its bright colors, nonetheless, gave off a high-class appeal of grandiosity and magnificence that all people craved in American society. The aforementioned details, further portray Price’s perception on how materialistic the American culture has become, and how society can be influenced by such frivolous, and superficial objects.
Price’s use of irony throughout her essay, also had a key role in further emphasizing her view on the American culture. Stating that the extinction of the flamingo was at the fault of the people who now prosper from its very existence in the first place, is extremely ironic. Such an example shows how the American society focuses on individual needs; and being egocentric was not seen as a deplorable action. Also, in a different section of the essay, Price makes a comparison of how the moods of decades can be influenced by new trends and ideas, by mentioning the Depression that country had faced in the previously passed years.
The irony of such a comparison was that not to long before the brightly colored phenomenon, America faced a period of time that was dull and full of devastating affects, known as the Great Depression. Price states that the “[colors] were just right for a generation, raised in the Depression”, meaning that after such a morose era, the new generation would now face an epidemic of boldness and congeniality that would arise from the pink flamingo influence that was entrapping the nation. Mentioning such references to such a dull time period, adherently describes the prominence of such a drastic change in styles and concepts.
Price’s vivid use of irony throughout her essay further displayed her individual opinion on how much the American culture was influenced by the vibrant color and flamboyancy of the pink plastic flamingo, and how such a trivial object can create such a grand illusion, and become so popular just by the appeal it displays. Overall, Price clearly portrays how the materialistic ideology of the American society is influenced by phenomenon and trending styles, which will furthermore alter the era in which a generation is living in, and introduce new fashions that would permanently alter the lifestyles of the American culture.
By Price’s avid use of diction and syntax throughout her essay, she was able to create a vivid idea on her view of the American culture. Such frivolous and minuscule objects influenced the culture, as a whole, just because by adapting and adopting the new flamboyant colors into their everyday lifestyle, the individual would feel as if they were in vogue, just because it was the cool thing to do.
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