Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 262
The main character, and narrator, in "Blow-Up" is Robert Michel, who describes himself as a
French-Chilean, translator and in his spare time an amateur photographer . . .
The reader knows he is highly educated because of the analytical way he narrates the story and the moments he refers to figures such as the French surrealist poet Guillaume Apollinaire.
During a walk along the river Seine, Michel spies a blonde women flirting with a teenage boy. He describes the boy as
well enough dressed . . . Turning fourteen, perhaps fifteen, one would guess that he was dressed and fed by his parents . . .
and the woman as
thin and willowy . . . All the morning's wind . . . had blown through her blond hair which pared away her white, bleak face . . .
He takes a picture of the couple, and the boy dashes off. The blonde woman approaches Michel and demands that he gives her the photo. At this point, a man, the fourth and final character, gets out of his car and joins the woman:
The man in the grey hat . . . carrying in his hand the paper he had been pretending to read. What I remember best is the grimace that twisted his mouth askew, it covered his face with wrinkles . . . bloodless man, dull dry skin, eyes deepset, the nostrils black and prominently visible, blacker than the eyebrows or hair or the black necktie.
After Michel develops the photograph, he can't stop obsessing about the scene and why the boy ran away. Eventually he decides that the woman was seducing the boy for the pleasure of the man in the grey hat.
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