Robert Bresson Eric Rhode - Essay

Eric Rhode

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

For Michel [of Pickpocket] life is like a spy's journey into an alien land. Though every moment is dangerous, the real test of courage is to confront the menace of strangers on the packed trains of the metro. This is the most important part of his day: a weird relationship is set up with the stranger, weird partly because the stranger knows nothing about it and partly because the robbery is not primarily for financial gain (Michel admits his takings aren't often worth the risk) but for erotic satisfaction. Money to Michel is a symbol of sexual rather than economic power; only by rendering the stranger impotent is Michel's anxiety for a moment allayed. The pickpocket can only live as long as he is destroying the...

(The entire section is 763 words.)