Optics, Gender, and the Eighteenth-Century Gaze: Looking at Eliza Haywood's Anti-Pamela

  title={Optics, Gender, and the Eighteenth-Century Gaze: Looking at Eliza Haywood's Anti-Pamela},
  author={Rivka Swenson},
  journal={The Eighteenth Century},
  pages={27 - 43}
Eliza Haywood's 1741 novel narrativizes the object-centered discourse of the visual field as described by contemporary optical theory. In eighteenth-century visual theory, the "object" of the gaze is not the one who is seen but the one who sees. Such a notion seems counter-intuitive; we have naturalized the theory of the dominant/male gaze. Anti-Pamela explores, first, the gendered implications that attended assumptions about vulnerable "subjects" and empowered "objects," and, second, the… 
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