In Jennifer Price’s essay entitled “The Plastic Pink Flamingo: A Natural History”, she uses rhetoric devices to convey her opinions of the emptiness of American culture. Price interprets the pink flamingos as a symbol of affluent American culture during the 1950’s. Price’s comparison of pink flamingos to American culture is demonstrated through the use of tone, satire, irony, comparison, and diction. Price varies her writing style as she varies the usage of rhetorical devices in this essay.
She blatantly uses irony when she mentions that it is “a little ironic, since Americans had hunted flamingos to extinction…” (Lines 13-14)Price mentions this historical fact to criticize that Americans are using the image of a bird that they had themselves once killed with no serious thought behind it. She belittles Americans because Americans would only use the image of the bird without any interest in the actual bird itself. She compares pink flamingos to American culture in order to illustrate the flamboyant and affluent society that America now experiences like the color of the flaming after the gray days of The Great Depression.
The author wants the readers to understand: Flamingos now serve as an icon, a symbol of the wealthy, affluent, and thriving American culture. Price sets the positive away from the noun that presents with dashes to accentuate the importance and the meaning of the word that it conveys. “Las Vegas: the flamboyant oasis of instant riches” gives more emphasis on the extravagance and the richness of the atmosphere of Las Vegas through the use of a positive saying.
Price often uses periodic sentences in order to give more explanations on what she is trying to say. They are often used when she gives the historical information of the pink flamingos: “When the pink flamingo splashed into the fifties market, it staked two major claims to boldness. ” But not only does it add the explanation, but also highlights the “claim” of the pink flamingos. What had once been only an option available for the wealthy high-class of America, vacations had started to open up to even people of the middle-class.
The flamingo not only showed that there was a need for change in American lifestyle, but that a time for change in the way Americans behave is now. The flamingo was a motivator of behavior and cultural change in the U. S. , and even today it is still the symbol of the essential 1950’s lifestyle. Now is this Author really talking about “pink flamingos” or is she really saying something more? Almost like a hidden message, Price is telling just how we as Americans consume anything and everything we have access to.
Price says “Americans had hunted flamingos to extinction,” can this bird be representing the power of Americans to us thing up as way to live? Jennifer Price is telling us something in her passage, and that is us consuming and diving out something to extinction. Americans as well as the rest of the world have been doing it for years and we will keeps doing it until the world is dried up. Therefore, until we find the next big break through everyone wonders what is going to be its future on us.
Subject: American culture,
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 1 October 2016
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