“The reason Miss Ramchandin paid me no attention was that, to her mind, the outfit was not something to either congratulate or scorn – it simply was.”
Tyler is weary from the lack of response from Miss Ramchandin after his cautious reveal of his wearing the dress that Miss Ramchandin stole for him. After momentary shame and regret, Tyler experiences a revelation as seen in the quote above. Tyler is finally dressing the way he wishes too and feels like himself in his truest form, and Miss Ramchandin recognizes this.
The act of Tyler putting on the dress to reveal to Miss Ramchandin is an act of confession because he is seeking her validation. As we have read in Foucault’s The History of Sexuality, “…one does not confess without the presence (or virtual presence) of a partner who is not simply the interlocutor but the authority who requires the confession, prescribes and appreciates it, and intervenes in order to judge, punish, forgive, console and reconcile…” in other words, one confesses to either be praised or punished by a figure of authority. This is contradictory in Tyler’s case because Miss Ramchandin is not the figure of authority, he is. Yet he is still seeking her validation. Tyler then goes onto say that “she was not one to manacle nature, and I sensed that she was permitting mine its freedom.” This statement is contradicting Tyler’s revelation because he has just realized that no confession was needed for him to be granted his freedom and be accepted as who he feels he is, but he is still taking note of what Miss Ramchandin may feel about him.
Foucault also states, “the sexual act- and how it was done; but of reconstructing, in and around the act, the thoughts that recapitulated it, the obsessions that accompanied it, the images, desires, modulations, and quality of the pleasure that animated it. For the first time no doubt, a society has taken upon itself to solicit and hear the imparting of individual pleasures. Here Foucault is saying that people have begun to insert themselves into other people’s sexual lives wanting to know everything about what they do for the purpose of critique. To contradict this idea is Miss Ramchandins lack of response to Tyler wearing the dress. Miss Ramchandin, already a woman of few words, does not critique or pass judgment. She has the ability to see Tyler as he truly is, not what he wants to be, which is what others may see. There is no praise or punishment in this confession, it just is.