The Plastic Pink Flamingo: a Natural History

Good Essays
Topics: 1950s, Satire
Jennifer Price, in her essay “The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History,” provides the reader with a brief account of a fad during the 1950’s. While narrating the article with a mild, satirical tone, Price also includes a plethora of details to present an anecdote. However, by doing so she also embeds her own view on United States culture – a culture she ridicules as overly commercialized and volatile.
The sudden “splash” of the pink flamingo into the fifties is a result of America’s capitalistic nature. Previously, the flamingo had been “hunted to extinction” for in the 1800s; however, one century later, Americans enshrined the pink plastic version. They even placed it on their front lawns! This was a chain effect. As a result of Miami Beach’s first grand hotel, the Flamingo, the bird became “synonymous with wealth.” American entrepreneurs took this opportunity to redesign the bird from ground up. They painted it pink which Marling states was “the hottest color of the decade” and plasticized it. Unlike other venerated figures of the past, such as the many religious idols, this plastic bird has no history at all. Still, it became “an instant hit”. It stands for nothing, perhaps just the flamboyance and commercialization of American culture and this is what Price criticizes.
The satirical tone in the introduction serves a double purpose. Besides lightening up the atmosphere, Price’s satire also emphasizes her views. She states the obvious by claiming that the two major reasons the flamingo became popular is because it’s a “flamingo” and that it was “pink” – and she’s correct! American veneration of this “thingamajig” has resulted purely from these two simpleminded reasons, plus the work of clever entrepreneurs. Price views Americans nowadays as simpletons that would pursue anything that is popular – even a plastic

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    newly introduced plastic, hot pink flamingo was not only a yard ornament but also a symbol of a progressive and forward-thinking generation of Americans. In “The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History” Jennifer Price uses the bold symbol of the flamingo to reveal her view of United States culture. The beginning lines of the essay provide a vivid backdrop to Price’s argument. The image of a “pink flamingo [splashing] into the fifties market” conveys the boldness with which the flamingo was introduced…

    • 411 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Plastic Pink Flamingo

    • 473 Words
    • 2 Pages

    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…

    • 473 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    the essay entitled "The Pink Flamingo: A Natural History" by Jennifer Price, Price examines the popularity of the well-known pink flamingo and how it relates to the ideals and whims of American culture. Using American fascination of the plastic, pink flamingo as her medium, Jennifer Price shows her evident disdain for the superficial materialism present in American society. Jennifer Price introduces her analysis of the flamingo fad by presenting the rise of the pink flamingo in American culture…

    • 1500 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Tessa Fung #9521 Mr.Valassidis AP Language and Composition, Period 4 6 January 2015 “The Pink Plastic Flamingo” I. Introduction A. In a recent essay, “The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History”, by Jennifer Price, she discusses her view on American culture B. In support of her assertion, she criticizes Americans and American culture for its frivolity and ignorance and argues American culture is based on materialism to satisfy the need. C. Jennifer Price points out the flaws in American culture…

    • 755 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Pink Flamingo

    • 501 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Pink Flamingos Essay Price has a negative view of United States culture by the satirical tone throughout her essay, “The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History.” Even in the title of the essay, Price demonstrates the ironic life of the “plastic” yet “natural” history of plastic pink flamingos. In her essay, she mocks the history of the evolving plastic pink flamingos and how America tends to be consumed with the latest fad. Price mentions that the flamingos are most known in Florida. However…

    • 501 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Pink Flamingo

    • 398 Words
    • 2 Pages

    In “The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History,” by Jennifer Price the adoration of pink flamingos in the fifties is shown through the amount of flamingo souvenirs purchased and the commensurate claim to boldness. Price in many ways demonstrates her pessimistic feeling toward our culture and the trends we undergo. Much figurative language is used such as “flocking” and “splashed.” Not only are those very particular words to choose they are also mocking words. Throughout “The Plastic Pink Flamingo:…

    • 398 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    That ostentatious pink flamingo now lies at the bottom of a landfill crumbling from its former glory into the obsolete beacon it is now, replaced by new hopes of a bright lavish future no longer found in a neon lawn ornament. The plastic pink flamingos of the 1950’s in American culture are simplistic enough in the idea behind their extraordinary growth, but gaudy enough to have to ask why. Pure and simple, they are what the future could look like. Just like we in the present day see the future as…

    • 213 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Price Analysis When you first read the title “The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History”, you think you are going to learn the story of Flamingos. Jennifer Price uses rhetorical strategy to compare and contrast the generation of the 1950s to Flamingos. She has several different strategies to better emphasize her point. She uses logical appeal, imagery, diction and the comparison of American culture to help her readers understand her point. Because of Jennifer Price’s use of rhetorical framework…

    • 491 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Pink: Flamingo and Price

    • 972 Words
    • 4 Pages

    STUDENT SAMPLE ESSAYS (Price essay / pink flamingo) Sample #1 In her essay “The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History,” Jennifer Price examines the strange popularity of the popular lawn accessory of the 1950s. In discussing the history of flamingos and the color pink, Price criticizes Americans and American culture for its frivolity and ignorance. Price begins the passage by describing the relevance of flamingos pre-50s. She begins this paragraph with a slightly critical tone…

    • 972 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Essay On Pink Flamingos

    • 528 Words
    • 3 Pages

    It’s My Party: The Birthday Party Sequence in Pink Flamingos A film about criminality and unconventionality, John Walter’s Pink Flamingoes is a dark comedy independent film. The protagonist, Divine, is a 300-pound drag woman. She lives with her eccentric family and competes to be “the filthiest person alive” with a corrupt couple. In the birthday party sequence, Walter expresses his unique style. He does this by incorporating bizarre situations that would never make it into a Hollywood film and…

    • 528 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays