This article underlines how Williams explores a range of ideologies associated with observation, inviting readers to consider how ideological frames of reference impact what we see. Williams’s work on seeing and the positioning of the viewer is here aligned with the work of painters, Degas in particular, occasionally positioning the viewer as an observer, a voyeur, of people unaware of that observation. Williams’s poem “The Young Housewife,” is analyzed for its voyeuristic frames of reference, while the power dynamics of seeing and surveillance are examined in Paterson through Williams’s inclusion of the Cress letters. The article considers Williams’s relationship to such dynamics and asks what we sacrifice when we cease to question the parameters of surveillance and the potential abuses of power associated with it.

You do not currently have access to this content.