South West and Mid Wales Consortium English Lang/Lit: An Integrated Approach Text: ‘Heroes’ by Robert Cormier
Chapter 1 My name is Francis Joseph Cassavant and I have just returned to Frenchtown in Monument and the war is over and I have no face. Oh, I have eyes because I can see and ear-drums because I can hear but no ears to speak of, just bits of dangling flesh. But that’s fine, like Dr Abrams says, because it’s sight and hearing that count and I was not handsome to begin with. He was joking, of course. He was always trying to make me laugh. If anything bothers me, it’s my nose. Or, rather, the absence of my nose. My nostrils are like two small caves and they sometimes get blocked and I have to breathe through my mouth. This dries up my throat and makes it hard for me to swallow. I also become hoarse and cough a lot. My teeth are gone but my jaw is intact and my gums are firm so it’s possible for me to wear dentures. In the past few weeks, my gums began to shrink, however, and the dentures have become loose and they click when I talk and slip around inside my mouth. What do you notice about the way Francis describes his injuries?
Why does Mrs Belander’s ‘face soften’ when she realises that Francis is a war veteran? She knows that he will not find anywhere else to live. She is confident that he will be able to pay his rent. She understands the contribution Francis has made to his country. She recognises who he is.
Chapter 3 Sonny O ’ Brien HenrySmith EddieChambers ErwinJohnson Reilly Richards Orlandi Eisenberg Blinky Jack Spooks Billy
Chapter 4 CARTIER ’ S FIELD AUGUST 15 th 1938 7p.m. Entry: $1.20
What is the purpose of this poster? To explain who is playing. To show what championship is being played for. To advertise the baseball match. To inform people where the game is being played. Why do you think that lots of people will be interested in this game? (Game between two local teams is likely to attract interest in and around Monument because it would feature lots of local stars. Less likely to have a wider appeal though. References in the book do show the popularity of the sport.)
Chapter 5 St Jude: 10 things you need to know about the patron saint of lost causes 1. St Jude was one of Jesus' 12 apostles, chosen to spread the word of the gospel. 2. He was also known as Thaddeus or Thaddaeus - said to be a surname for the name Labbaeus which means "heart" or “ courageous". 3. He is believed to have written the book of Jude. Religious scholars say it contains some of the finest expressions of praise to God in the Bible's New Testament. 4. Jude became associated with desperate situations because of a letter he wrote to the Churches of the East. In it he says that the faithful must keep going even in harsh or difficult circumstances.
Chapter 5 Name the three places in Frenchtown linked to St Jude. ……………………………………………………………………………… Why do you think that Robert Cormier chose this particular saint?
Chapter 5 “Joey Le Blanc...died on a beach on Iwo Jima in the South Pacific. Read the article from the History Learning Site and answer the questions. Iwo Jima is a very small Pacific island – just over 4.5 miles long and 2.5 miles wide Despite its size, Iwo Jima was considered to have great tactical importance. There were two airfields on the island – under Japan’s control; they could be used by Japanese fighter planes to attack American bombers on their flights to Japan. The tiny island had taken America over one month to take. The Marines lost 6,891 men killed and 18,070 wounded. Out of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers on the island, only 212 were taken prisoners. What the battle did show the Americans was how far the Japanese would go to defend their country – a decision that was to influence the use of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.Hiroshima Nagasak
Chapter 5 Circle the chart representing the data in the article.
Chapter 5 Look at the map below. Why do you think there were so many US marine casualties? Airfields
Chapter 9 Local man Larry LaSalle is in line to recieve a military award after saving the lives of an entire platoon of soildiers. LaSalle, known locally as the ‘heroe of the wreck centre’, is said to have captured an enemy machine gun nest as part of the courageous raid. Restriction’s on reporting make it impossible to reveal further details at this time but the people of Monument are sure to welcome LaSalle home on furlough in the coming weeks with speaches, gifts and parties in recognition of his achievements.
Chapter 11 Why have you written the first of your Trickster Tales series on the Pied Piper of Hamelin? I think the Pied Piper is such an interesting figure. When you think about it’s weird what he did, taking them children away and it makes you ask questions. Why did he do it? Is that okay? Why did it happen? What’s the story trying to tell us? The Pied Piper makes you think. There’s something about it. You have your basic story: there’s a town, the town has a rat problem, the town calls the Pied Piper, the Pied Piper gets rid of the rats, the town doesn’t pay the the Pied Piper and the Pied Piper takes the children. But everything else is up for grabs, you can change it, you can set it anywhere in the world, you can say it means anything you like.
Chapter 11 QuotationExplanation “His slenderness was knife-like now, lethal, his features sharper.” This line is sickeningly ironic in the light of the events that follow. “Nicole bowed, tilting her head like a ballet dancer...his eyes full of her” Francis naivety is clear here. He never, for a moment suspects Larry’s real intentions. “We have to keep the world safe for these young people - they are our future.” The choice of language fits in with the idea of a predator trapping an innocent victim. “Stay close to me,” “Stay and watch,” The colour is symbolic of a loss of innocence. “I wondered if he had a big announcement for her. That he had found a way to make her a star” There are hints of danger in the way Larry is now described. “We always did what Larry LaSalle told us to do...And now I seemed actually to be tired” The fact that Nicole does not speak here has a greater impact on Francis than if she did address him. “Then, a whimpering, like a small animal caught and trapped...” Larry has successfully groomed Francis to the extent that he can almost influence how he is feeling. “Her white blouse torn...” Larry’s lack of remorse is evident and in huge contrast to how Francis responds. “My betrayal of her in her eyes.” There is a clear contrast between Nicole’s innocence and Larry’s predatory nature. “...whistling softly as he stepped through the doorway.”Nicole may be aware of some impending danger.
Chapter 15 Look at the images above. They suggest that: The symbol on prayer beads is not important. Prayer beads are only used in the Catholic faith. Prayer beads are exactly the same as rosary beads. A range of religions use prayer beads.
Chapter 17 I remember what I said to Nicole about not knowing who the real heroes are and I think of my old platoon. Sonny Orlandi, Spooks Reilly and Blinky Chambers. Eddie Richards and his diarrhoea. Erwin Eisenberg. Henry Johnson, hit by shrapnel. And those who died, Jack Smith and Billy O’Brien, and all the others. I think of Enrico, minus his legs, his arm. I think of Arthur Rivier, drunk and mournful that night in the alley. We were only there. Scared kids, not born to fight and kill. Who were not only there but who stayed, did not run away, fought the good war. And never talk about it. And didn’t receive a Silver Star. But heroes, anyway. The real heroes. Maybe if I’m going to write as Nicole hopes I will, I should write about them. Maybe I should buy a typewriter and get started. Maybe I should try to find Dr Abrams’ telephone number in Kansas City. Maybe I should track down Enrico, check out those hospitals he told me about. I should do all those things. I think of Nicole. I think of the gun inside the duffel bag at my feet. I pick up the duffel bag and sling it over my shoulder. The weight is nice and comfortable on my back as I cross the lobby, heading for the exit and the next train to leave the station. How does Cormier make this an effective end to the novel?
Chapter 17 This is an effective passage to end the novel as Francis apparently begins to come to terms with his past and look forward to some sort of future. However, there is enough doubt to keep the reader questioning where the next stage of his journey will go. Firstly, Cormier returns to a familiar theme in the novel: the real heroes. It is significant that the names we are familiar with such as Blinky Chambers, Enrico and Arthur Rivier are the ones who “fought the good war...And didn’t receive a Silver Star.” It is evident that Cormier wants the reader to understand that the impact of war is evident in both physical and psychological ways and that bravery is not just measured by the award of medals. The repetition of the word ‘maybe’ does ensure that there is some question as to whether Francis will “buy a typewriter and get started”, “find Dr Abrams’ telephone number”, “track down Enrico, check out those hospitals he told me about”. However, he does say that he “should do all those things” and it is implied that he wants to fulfil his ambition to write, partly for himself and partly for Nicole. Arguably, the final image in the book is the most significant in this chapter. Francis’s duffel bag, a symbol of his guilt and pain for much of the novel, now feels “nice and comfortable” perhaps suggesting that Francis has at last reached some sort of peace. It is particularly effective as it seems to me that Cormier wants the reader to finish the book with the sense that it has been the first thing Francis has written and is a part of his recuperation process.
Overview 1.Ch2 Meets Nicole 1939 Seventh grade 2. Ch5 Wreck Centre Larry’s arrival 3.Ch7 Table Tennis 1941 Pearl Harbour 4. Ch9 Larry enlists. Francis and Nicole 5. Ch11 Larry returns. The rape 6. Ch12 Guilt. Francis enlists 7. Ch1 Return to Frenchtown 8. Ch3 (Flashback to 1943 – Norman Rochelau, the war, grenade) 9. Ch4 Arthur Rivier St Jude Club 10. Ch6 St Jude Club Scrapbook 11. Ch8 Pee Alley 12. Ch10 (Flahback- London) Waiting for Larry’s return. 13. Ch13 Hears of Larry’s return 14. Ch14 Cannot complete mission. Larry’s suicide 15. Ch15 Discovers where Nicole is. 16. Ch16 Sees Nicole. Encouraged to write 17. Ch17 The real heroes. New journey begins