- Some were arguing indeed that "Gray Room" permits the subjectivity of the observed woman to be observable (and not itself observing--an observ*er*), and that this is suggested in the way in which she directs her attention at truly miscellaneous, ornamental, "things" around her. In other words, the poem's subject (the speaker--or Stevens we might say) looks and the looked-at doesn't get to "re-direct" in the least. Others disagreed. But your idea--about the reader--is new(ish) to the discussion, and I think a fruitful one: the "I know..." seems to close things off for the reader (denying us what Emily would call "possibility"). Others would disagree, and emphasize the self-critical, self-questioning, modernist "What is all this?"
Document URL: http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/gray-room-discuss.html
Last modified: Wednesday, 18-Jul-2007 16:26:09 EDT