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Susan S. Lanser's The Yellow Wallpaper

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Susan S. Lanser’s “Feminist Criticism, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper,’ and the politics of color in America” examines the impacts “The Yellow Wallpaper” had on feminist writing styles and critiques. Lanser writes that the story helps to analyze the reading trough “the lens of a female consciousness” and apply the knowledge gained from a female perspective onto other literature (418). The transition that the narrator displays from being dependent on John to becoming independent reflects the feminist movement and challenges the “male dominance” that currently takes precedence in society (418). The “patriarchal prisonhouse” that is society controls the narrator and oppresses women not only in “The Yellow Wallpaper” but in real life as well (419). The…show more content…
This extreme approach to the problem impairs the argument limits its persuasive power throughout the article. Lanser describes the patriarchy as “insanity,” and devalues men as a whole (418). The argument is skewed and somewhat offensive because it completely ignores the men, and their positive contributions, in society. Yes we should have equality, but tearing down men to put women ahead is not the correct solution. The concept of a “problematic male” is carried throughout the article destroying the equality feminists should be advocating for (422). The argument throughout the article then shifts to the concept of color and how race is represented in “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Similar to Lanser’s previous arguments, she describes one side of “yellow groups” in a way that comes off as offensive and harmful to minorities (430). She depicts the “inscribed racism” throughout the story incorrectly with vague examples that do not specifically tie into the argument (429). The lack of specificity in her examples creates ambiguity in the argument and overall destroys the claim for the reader. Lanser’s article combines a radical feminist approach with vague examples which leads to a
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