Jennifer Price discusses the popularity of lawn flamingo decorations in America. Price’s essay isn’t just about analyzing how popular this lawn decoration has become. She’s also mocking American culture’s materialistic values. She mocks the fact that Americans do weird and flashy things in order to keep up with the latest trends or to show off their wealth. She also mocks America’s carefreeness, emotionlessness, and hypocrisy. This was also reflected in the popularity among Americans of early 1900s of flamingos as lawn decorations. Price uses the flamingo in this example to convey her message. She conveys what she is thinking through her choice of words and tone. Other popular examples are also used.
Price’s satire can be communicated through the tone of her voice and her choice of words. To create satire, she uses powerful words in large fonts. She uses words like “extravagance”, “flamboyance”, and “extravagant” to describe flamingo lawn decor. The words used are exaggerated and create a mocking and sarcastic tone. Price’s use of sarcasm in this sentence is one of his most prominent. Price says that Americans are responsible for wiping out the native population of flamingos. It is clear sarcasm, because no one believes that a population’s extinction is not important. Except for Americans who Price views as being careless and hypocritical. Price uses sarcasm to make her criticism of America clear. Price’s use of sarcasm is a way to reinforce her point, since she uses humour in her description of the flamingo. This mocks America by making fun of the flamingo, which she portrays as nothing special.
Price also uses American cultural examples to support her argument. Price uses the example “vacationing Americans” who return home with flamingos as souvenirs. This is a way to portray Americans, and create the impression that they have been doing this for years. Price can make her point by using the vacationer example. The readers will understand it better and be able relate to Price. Price uses Elvis and his pink Cadillac as examples later. The celebrity’s use of pink reinforces the notion that it is a color for wealth and success. Price uses this connotation to support his idea that Americans purchased the flamingos in order to fit in. Price also uses Elvis to help establish credibility and make the concept more understandable. Elvis is well known to many Americans of today, so the readers can understand what Elvis was like.
Price adds to her point by saying that Americans forget history when they become a trend. She calls Americans hypocrites. Price successfully creates the impression that Americans are hypocrites by stating “early Christians associated the flamingo with the red phoenix.” This idea portrays Americans as being careless because these statements accuse American culture of cultural appropriation. Price mentions the extinction or flamingos in America. He then uses stories as a means to portray Americans, as being clueless. Price also uses these stories to make the reader feel compassion for cultures that are being erased.
Price asserts repeatedly in her essay how Americans are constantly trying to adapt and keep up with current trends. They do this in order for them to remain popular and prosper. Price conveys her ideas in many non-verbal ways. Price creates a sarcastic voice by using word choices and sentence structures. She uses examples from popular culture that readers can relate to. Price criticizes American society as being hypocritical, using stories to convey implicit messages.