Reading Fraud from the Gaze Theory: The Gaze and Anti-Gaze in Anna Durrant
The loneliness and isolation experienced by older women have frequently been the focus of Brookner's writing. Fraud, one of her typical novels, provided a provocative perspective on age and gender. In light of a number of previous studies, this article aims to contribute to the study of feminist fiction that focuses on older women and to encourage more academic inquiry and study in this area. Based on the method of literature research and detailed reading of Fraud, the essay demonstrated the dual gaze that Anna, the protagonist of Fraud, experienced from both sexes, particularly from her mother and Lawrence Halliday, in accordance with the gaze theory. The gaze showed exterior control in Anna as well as how she internalized those gaze and molded herself into the object of others’ sight. Though she was observed by others and lived by their expectations for half of her life, Anna "counter-gazed" the overall look in her own unique way. She was liberated from the ongoing fraud thanks to her anorexia, dreams, straight look, and clothing design. Finally, the once-submissive Anna developed into an independent woman, speaking up forcefully for women to follow their own aspirations. By examining the gaze and anti-gaze that Anna experienced, the essay empowers all older women to recognize that new routes are open to them and inspires all women to confront the oppressive gaze and live their lives to the fullest.