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1 Heroes by Robert Cormier Interactive Mindmaps Notes Revision Tests Sample Exam Questions

2 How to use this presentation The next slide is you master mind map. Click on any of the coloured boxes that radiate out from the Heroes box. This will take you to a subject mindmap. Click on any of the notes radiating from the centre to be taken to the appropriate set of notes. When you come to the end of the set of notes you will automatically return to the subject mindmap. When you have finished with the subject mindmap, click anywhere in the red background of the slide, or in the centre box of the slide. This will take you back to the master mindmap. When you have finished, go back to the master mindmap and click on the blue home icon to go to the end of the presentation.

3 Heroes Characters The writer Themes Plot Background Revision

4 Characters Main characters Other characters Francis Nicole Larry LaSalle

5 Plot Full Plot Summary Chapter 1 Chapter 17 Chapter 5 Chapter 9 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 6Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4

6 Other Characters Marie LaCroix Marie Lives in the same apartments as Francis and provides a link between Francis and Nicole. Marie acts as a confidante for Francis as he reveals to her that he like Nicole. Towards the end of the novel readers learn that Marie has continued to provide a link between the two as she has informed Nicole about Francis Silver Star for bravery.

7 Other Characters Sister Mathilde and Sister Gertrude Sister Mathilde is a figure from Francis past who had an influence on him when he was at school. Francis visits her in Chapter 15 to ask for information about Nicole. It is significant that she reminds Francis that everyone has secrets. Sister Gertrude was one of Franciss teachers. As he prays in St Judes Church in Chapter 1, it is Sister Gerrudes words which come into his head.

8 Other Characters Uncle Louis Uncle Louis cared for Francis after the death of his parents. It is possible that Francis inherited his quiet personality from Uncle Louis, who is described as a silent giant of a man. Although he provided a home for Francis, cooked his meals and gave him a weekly allowance, he seldom spoke to him apart from asking about his day at school.

9 Other Characters Mr Laurier Mr Laurier, the owner of the drugstore, is another figure from Francis past. Francis enjoyed working in his store, particularly stocking the candy cases. It is a result of this job that Francis becomes closer to Nicole as she buys sweets ad talks to him about books. Mr Lauriers drugstore is a meeting point and an informal news centre for the people of Frenchtown. He comments significantly on the way young men are trained to kill. People can keep up to date with the progress of the war as they read the newspapers or listen to his radio.

10 Other Characters Louis Arabelle Louise is Francis opponent in the final table tennis match. Louis lost the match, ensuring that Francis won the championship

11 Other Characters Norman Rocheleau, Eddie Richards, Erwin Eisenberg, Blinky Chambers, Jack Smith, Sonny Orlandi, Spooks Reilly, Billy OBrien and Henry Johnson All of these were wartime comrade of Francis and, with the exception of Norman Rocheleau, were all members of his platoon. They are mentioned in Francis nightmare in Chapter 3 and all either dies or received injuries in the war. When Francis considers what it means to be a hero in Chapter 17, these are the men he thinks about.

12 Other Characters Armand Telliere, Joe LaFontaine, George Richelieu, The Strangler These men are regulars at the St Jude Club where the war veterans meet. The Strangler is the bartended who keeps a scrapbook of Frenchtown heroes in which both Francis and Larry LaSalle figure.

13 Francis - Family Father (Lefty) – Mother - Raymond - Uncle Louis This is Francis family. Raymond was his brother who died at birth and his mother died giving birth to Raymond. Francis was six at the time. His father died when he was a teenager and he goes to live with his Uncle Louis, who obviously loved and cared for him but who was uncommunicative. These characters showed us how Francis becomes an isolate, a rather rootless person without a close family that it is obvious he needs. It is not surprising that he idolises Larry as a role model and that he wants to be close to Nicole and share his life with her. He does not want to lose more people that he feels close to.

14 Francis – Physical Injury Francis seems very open and matter of fact about his injuries. He mentions them in the very first sentence of the book. His injury was caused by the act for which he was awarded the silver star. He threw himself on a grenade, which saved the other members of his platoon. At first his injuries isolate him from other people. Then he seems to use them as an excuse for hiding his identity. Are his injuries also a reflection of the psychological scars he has? Quotations P. 1 The war is over and I have no face. P.3 Anyway, this gives you an idea of what I look like when I walk down the street. People glance at me in surprise and look away quickly or cross the street when they see me coming. I dont blame them.

15 Francis - Nicole Francis idolizes Nicole from the first time he sees her. He wants to dedicate himself to her, to serve and protect her. He is insecure, and unable to speak to her. This is why he tells Marie LaCroix that he likes her – telling Marie not to say anything to Nicole while hoping that Marie will say something to her. Quotations P. 9 The pale purity of her face reminded me of the statue of St. Therese P.10 I knelt there like a knight at her feet, her sword having touched my shoulder. I silently pledged her my love and loyalty forever

16 Francis - Nicole Nicole is more mature than Francis, and seems to know that he likes her. In a way she teases him a little. Francis seems jealous of the physical intimacy between Nicole and Larry while they are dancing. Only beating Larry at table tennis gives Francis the confidence to ask Nicole to the cinema. Quotations P. 32 Hello Francis. That same strange teasing in her voice that Id heard when shed warned me about falling off the banister. P.42 Jealousy streaked through me as Larry LaSalle tossed her in the air

17 Francis - Nicole When he wins the table tennis, Nicole casts Francis in the role of her champion. Francis still doesnt ask her out, and so Nicole starts coming to Lauriers drug store where he works. After she tells him that she likes movies as well as book he finally asks her out. Her reply that would be nice is perfect, because their relationship is nice – sweet and tender and to a large extent innocent. Quotations P. 48 she was suddenly in front of me, radiant, clasping my hand, whispering My champion. P. 53 The earth paused in its orbit. That would be nice,she said at last.

18 Francis - Nicole Francis blames himself for what happened to Nicole when he left her with Larry. Her reaction when she sees him afterwards drives him to consider suicide, and when he decides against this, to change the date on his birth certificate and join the army. Quotations P. 69 I stood there thinking of what I had seen in Nicoles eyes. Its amazing that the heart makes no noise when it cracks. P. 72 Finally I asked What can I do? Poor Francis. she said at last. But no pity in her voice.

19 Francis - Nicole Francis cannot let go of Nicole. Even though he knows she will not be there he goes to look at her old apartment in Frenchtown. Even when he sees her after Larry has killed himself, and he knows they will never meet again, he has to ask if he can see her sometimes. At the end he must accept that he will not see her again. Quotations P. 94 Can I come again sometimes? I ask, hating myself for asking because I know the answer... Oh, Francis she says, the words weighted with sadness.... I close my eyes, clinging to the moment, wanting to make it last forever.

20 Chapter One Francis introduces himself and his injuries. Most of the chapter is told in the present tense. He explains he has returned to his hometown of Frenchtown. He takes a room in Mrs. Belanders, and deliberately lies to her to hide his identity. Francis goes to St. Judes Church to light a candle for his parents, and for Larry LaSalle, who he tells us he intends to kill. He also mentions Nicole Renard for the first time.

21 Chapter Two In flashback – using past tense – Francis tells us about Nicole. Her family moved from Albany in New York and she joined Francis school when they were in the seventh grade. Francis worshipped her from the instant he saw her. He told Marie LaCroix, her friend that he liked her, and told her not to tell Nicole, even though he hopes that she would.

22 Chapter Three Francis visits the apartment where Nicole used to live. The fact that the Renard nameplate has been removed confirms she has gone. In flashback he remembers being in the army and meeting another boy from Frenchtown, called Norman Rocheleau in France, who told him that the Renards had left, and nobody knew where they went. Back in his apartment he remembers the first time he killed German soldiers, who looked just as young as he was – he tells us that he was fifteen when he joined up. The day after this was the day the grenade blew his face off.

23 Chapter Four On the way to the Wreck Centre, Francis meets Arthur Rivier. Arthur doesnt recognize him, bit can see that he is a veteran, and so takes him to the St. Judes club. Many veterans in there are men Francis knows, but nobody recognizes him. They are all talking about the future, and their plans, and it seems as if Francis doesnt belong there at all.

24 Chapter Five Francis introduces the story of the Wreck Centre. He tells us how a bride was killed by her ex at a wedding reception there, and so the place was closed down. When it reopened, Larry LaSalle came to run it. He organized all of the children using it, and ran art, craft and sporting activities for them.

25 Chapter Six Francis returns to the St. Judes Club to ask if anyone has seen Larry LaSalle. The bartender, nicknamed the Strangler because he used to be a wrestler has kept a scrap book of all the men in Frenchtown who served in the war. It turns out that Larry LaSalle won a silver star – like Francis – for knocking out a machine gun nest. Nobody has seen him. Arthur recognizes Francis voice, but promises Francis to keep his identity secret.

26 Chapter Seven Flashback: Larry tells Francis he should take up table tennis, and he trains Francis to a good level of skill. Francis wins a table tennis tournament which Larry stages. The other kids want Francis to play Larry, and Larry plays so skillfuly that although it looks as if he is trying his best, he actually lets Francis win. Nicole makes it very clear that she likes Francis when he wins, and calls him her champion. The day after the tournament, Japan attacks the US naval base at Pearl Harbour.

27 Chapter Eight In a very short chapter Francis meets Arthur in an alleyway at night. Arthur is very upset, because nobody in the St. Judes Club ever really talks about the war, only about the future. He tells Francis how scared he was all the time, and says we werent heroes, we were only there.

28 Chapter Nine Flashback: Larry joins the army. Nicole starts coming round to see Francis in Lauriers Drug Store where he works. They talk, and when Nicole says that she likes movies as well as books, he asks her to go to the cinema with him. One afternoon they see on a newsreel that Larry LaSalle has become a hero for knocking out an enemy machine gun nest.

29 Chapter Ten Francis tells us of the way a little boy was scared of his appearance in London when he was having surgery. He tells us that he doesnt care now so long as he carries out his self imposed mission to kill Larry. He burns the card with the address of Dr. Abrams of Kansas City who promised to operate on him again and do more plastic surgery. Then he thinks back to the day that Larry came home before.

30 Chapter Eleven Flashback: Larry has leave and comes home to Frenchtown. There is a big civic reception for him, then a party in the Wreck Centre. Eventually just Francis, Larry and Nicole remain. Larry insists that Francis goes and leaves him and Nicole to have one more dance to the song Dancing in the Dark Nicole doesnt want Francis to go, but he eventually does. He waits in the porch, and listens, while Larry rapes Nicole.

31 Chapter Twelve Flashback:Larry left town suddenly. Francis tries to find Nicole, and when he does she says that she knows he was there, and asks why he didnt do anything. Francis has no answer. Later in the week Francis goes to church, and considers jumping from the tower and committing suicide. He decides not to because it would be a sin, and decides to seek a noble death by joining the army. He altered his birth certificate and joined up the next day.

32 Chapter Thirteen Francis learns that Larry has returned to town when he overhears Mrs. Belander talking about it to a neighbour. He learns that he seems to be injured because he walks slowly as if his legs hurt, and he also learns where Larry is staying.

33 Chapter Fourteen Francis goes to see Larry LaSalle. Larry seems pleased to see him. He tells Francis that he has jungle fever. Its a wasting disease that is gradually killing him. He calls Francis a hero. Francis explains that he only fell on the grenade because he wanted to die, he didnt care about saving his platoon. When he asks why, Francis tells him he knew about what Larry did to Nicole. Larry doesnt deny it, and in fact she wasnt the only one. When Francis takes out his gun, so does Larry, but makes it clear he will not hurt Francis. In the end, Francis leaves, and he hears the sound of Larry shooting himself.

34 Chapter Fifteen Francis finds out where Nicole lives from Sister Mathilde, his old teacher.

35 Chapter Sixteen Francis goes to see Nicole, who is studying in a convent. She knows that Larry is dead. She apologises to Francis for what she said to him after what happened. She realized it wasnt his fault and went to his Uncles house to talk to him but hed already joined up. They talk, and Nicole says that she thinks she is getting better. Francis aasks if there is any chance of them staying in touch, but even though she doesnt say no, there isnt. Nicole suggests he should become a writer. At the end of the chapter he leaves.

36 Chapter Seventeen The book ends with Francis sitting at the railway station, leaving Frenchtown, thinking about what he could do now, and thinking about the kids who went away to war, who were the real heroes.

37 Background Pearl Harbour Dancing in the Dark Fred Astaire Inspiration for book

38 Pearl Harbour The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United Statesnaval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941 (December 8 in Japan). The attack led to the United States' entry into World War II. Click for more detail: -


40 Fred Astaire Larry LaSalle is compared to Fred Astaire. Fred Astaire was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer, musician and actor. His stage and subsequent film and television careers spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films, several award winning television specials, and issued numerous recordings. He was named the fifth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute. Click to see a clip of Fred Astaire dancing to Dancing in the Dark

41 Robert Cormier Background Robert Cormier (1925-2000) was an American novelist, best known for his many young adult novels, the most famous one being The Chocolate War. He was born and brought up in Leominster in Massachusetts, in the French-Canadian section of the town called French Hill. It is this place which is loosely fictionalised in Heroes as Frenchtown. He was in his last years at high school when the USA joined the war – making him roughly the same age as Francis Cassavant in the novel. Cormier had poor eyesight though, and so could not join the army. He studied and worked instead.

42 Francis Cassavant Disfigurement Psychological Physical Face isolation obsession guilt familyOrphaned Uncle War His motives His experiences Silver Star Relationships Larry Nicole Revenge Love worship Heroism

43 Guilt Part of Francis guilt seems to come from his catholic background. At the start of the book he he prays for Larry because he remembered Sister Mathilde saying that you should pray for those you dont love. Then he feels guilty for doing so. It is also his religious guilt, and knowledge that suicide is a sin, that stops him from committing suicide by throwing himself off the church. Quotations P. 6 I offer up an Our Father and Hail Mary and Glory Be for Larry LaSalle. Then I am filled with guilt and shame knowing that I just prayed for the man I am going to kill. P.75Saying a prayer before committing the worst sin of all: despair.

44 Survivor Guilt Survivor's guilt is a mental condition that occurs when a person thinks they have done wrong by surviving a traumatic event when others did not. We know that Francis actually wanted to die in the war, when he dived on top of the grenade. This is made worse by the fact that everyone thinks he is a hero for doing it, because they do not know why he dived on top of the grenade. He actually did it to punish himself for letting Larry rape Nicole. Quotations P. 80 I looked for chances to die and instead killed others, and two of them kids like me... When I fell on my grenade I wasnt trying to save those GIs. I saw my chance to end it all in a second.

45 Inspiration for the Book Heroes was published in 1998. Robert Cormier said that he was inspired to write the book by the 50th anniversary celebrations of the D-Day landings of World War II, and the desire to recognise the heroic acts of ordinary people

46 Themes HeroismWar Loss of Innocence Love Forgiveness Concealment / revealment

47 Heroism There are different examples of people being made heroes in the book: - Before they even go to war, LaSalle is a hero to the kids of the Wreck Centre. He brings out the best in them and they adore him. Even at the end he is still making Francis feel better about himself, and prevents him from becoming a murderer. Is this more or less heroic than his war record? Francis is something of a peacetime hero as well – by becoming table tennis champion and beating LaSalle he becomes an icon to the other children. The scrapbook kept by the Strangler at the St. Judes club contains newspaper clippings about all the heroes of Frenchtown, including both LaSalle and Francis. The other men regard it as something of a symbol, something to be proud of, but Francis is ambivalent.

48 Silver Star The Silver Star is the only medal awarded for heroism, we are told. Both LaSalle and Francis have been awarded this medal, for saving the lives of their fellow soldiers. LaSalle does so by taking out a machine gun nest, Francis by falling on a grenade – the grenade that destroys his face. Is it significant that one wins it by committing an act of violence, whereas the other wins it by taking the damage himself? It impresses the townsfolk – but Francis wants to remain anonymous.

49 We werent heroes, we were only there. Francis finds Arthur drunk outside the back of the St Jude club one night. Arthur is crying, because he is haunted by the war but nobody will talk about it. He scoffs at the idea of heroes and says they were all just scared boys, and that there was no glamour involved. He says We werent heroes. We were only there. This can be interpreted in two ways. One is that it is wrong for people to call them heroes, because they didnt act like heroes. It was merely chance that they were there in the war. But when Francis remembers Arthurs words right at the end of the book, it gives them a different interpretation. Francis is suggesting that merely by being there they were heroes – scared or not, they did what they had to do and did not run away.

50 Is Francis really a hero? When Francis talks to LaSalle he admits that he fell on the grenade not out of heroism, but because he wanted to die, so he is not a hero. LaSalle counters this, by telling Francis that deep down it was an heroic act, driven by his instincts to save his fellow men. But it is LaSalle telling him this – can he be trusted? Francis tells us that he always wanted to be a hero like LaSalle, but that when he finds himself one he wants to get rid of the fakery. For him being called a hero cant disguise what he feels underneath, the guilt at failing Nicole, and the fact that he wanted to die, so he feels like a coward. This links to the question that LaSalle asks at the end: Does that one sin of mine wipe away all the good things? The whole book questions whether people can really be heroes, when they have all their human failings underneath.

51 Heroism and Secrecy Why do Francis and Nicole not tell everyone the truth about LaSalle? Why does Francis tell no-one (apart from LaSalle) that he fell on the grenade because he wanted to die? When Arthur is drunk and crying about his wartime experiences, his two veteran friends pick him and take him home, not wanting Arthur to talk about the war. There seems to be a conspiracy not to reveal the heroes for what they are. Is Cormier suggesting that we need heroes, even if they are fake? This is also suggested by the very positive effects of Francis beating LaSalle at table tennis. LaSalle knows that if the other children believe Francis has beaten him it will give them more self confidence. Although LaSalle fakes the result, Francis is a hero. Cormier is suggesting that even fake heroes can have a positive value in society.

52 The Real Heroes Nicole tells Francis that he should write about it, in order to find out what a hero really is. This suggests the answer to the question is in the book. But what is it? In the train station Francis thinks of the soldiers in his platoon who were scared, but stayed and fought anyway. They died and were never awarded medals, and he calls them the real heroes. This is a straightforward way of looking back at those who died in the war.

53 War Francis dreams of the German soldiers that he killed, but in his dreams they cry Mama and he sees them as boys, like him too young to shave. In real life they didnt have time to speak, but the dream emphasises a common idea in war literature – that the soldiers on both sides often have more in common with each-other than with their commanders. Throughout Francis never questions whether the war itself was just – he describes it at the end as the good war. However, the depiction of violence, and its effects, is quite brutal. The clinical and grotesque description of Franciss facial injuries at the beginning of the novel is a good example of this. War is presented as horrifying and terrifying, with a massive effect on those who fight in it, but Cormier is not concerned with the politics of the war, nor does he make Heroes a pacifist novel.

54 War – the Veterans Arthurs collapse behind the club one evening suggests that many of the veterans have similar issues to Francis – although Arthur appeared normal he is finding it very difficult to cope with the memories of what the war was like. Because he is physically unharmed, it is easier for him to pass as normal than it is for Francis, but this episode shows that doesnt mean the soldiers who came back in one piece are actually okay

55 Loss of Innocence – end of Childhood - America There are many points in the book which represent an ending of childhood innocence. One is a major event in American history – the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Francis notes that We had discovered in one moment on a Sunday afternoon that the world was not a safe place anymore. This was not just their discovery, but the discovery of the whole United States, that they could not remain in isolation from the rest of the world.

56 Loss of Innocence – end of Childhood - Francis When Francis confidently leaves Nicole alone with LaSalle in the Wreck Centre, he does so in complete innocence of the danger she is in. Taking people at face value is something which the novel constantly warns us against – the apparently happy Arthur is found crying behind the St Jude club, and the villainous LaSalle ends by doing something positive for Francis, in affirming his heroism, and refusing to let him become a murderer. LaSalles rape of Nicole in the Wreck Centre is the end of innocence for both her and Francis, who waits in the dark knowing but unable to acknowledge what is happening to her. It is also symbolic of the end of their innocent belief in goodness – something that the war ended for many people. Francis going off to war with a faked age on his birth certificate is a significant step out of childhood – like many soldiers who signed up underage, he is forcing the issue. He notices that other soldiers – even the Germans – are also very young.

57 Loss of Innocence – end of Childhood - Francis He maintains a certain innocence even after the grenade – going to London with his face uncovered, he doesnt think that other people will notice, until he makes a young boy cry. When he is home in Frenchtown he appears to have become very cynical, but at the end of the novel, he has turned back a little from that, perhaps coming to happy balance

58 Loss of Innocence – end of Childhood - Nicole The fact that Nicole will not see Francis again after the meeting they have at the end of the book also closes a door on the idea of there being a happily ever after: although she is surviving, and continuing to recover, she cannot go back to that state of innocence

59 Types of Love in Heroes Franciss love for Nicole is highly romanticised – his first meeting with her is compared to a knight kneeling at the feet of a saint. He can barely get up the courage to speak to her, although they do eventually go out, and their relationship is sweet and innocent. Later, in the army, he is motivated by both his love for her which has never gone away, and his guilt about his failure to help her when she was attacked. During the war his love and desire for forgiveness turns into the only thing that makes his life worthwhile. From the first chapter where he says it would always be Nicole Renard to the penultimate one where he tells us the reason he went to see Nicole was to see if she could still be his girl which could maybe change my mind about the gun in my duffel bag. This is verging on the obsessional, and Francis realises as he talks to Nicole that the love they had ended a long time ago. There is the hero-worship the teens feel for LaSalle before the war, and then that the town feels for the returning heroes. The scrapbook, the reception for LaSalle and the toasting of the Silver Star heroes in the St Jude Club all evidence this kind of love, and the need to find something or someone to admire to make life seem better.

60 Types of love in Heroes Much of what LaSalle did for the kids of Frenchtown, and Francis in particular could be described as loving: he makes Francis a more confident teenager, and continues trying to make him feel better about himself even after Francis has threatened to kill him. LaSalle also describes his sexual desire for young girls (sweet young things) as love. He says we love our sins. We love the thing that makes us evil. This is a darker side to what love can mean to different people. There is an element of brotherly or fraternal love in Franciss memories of his fellow soldiers, in his remembrance of them every night. His sacrifice, of throwing himself on the grenade, could also be seen as a loving one – certainly LaSalle thinks that Franciss instinct was to save his fellow soldiers, not to kill himself. There is a sense in which all the veterans are bound together by their experiences, which forms a kind of brotherly bond between them.

61 Revenge and Forgiveness Francis is intent on taking revenge on Larry LaSalle, rather than forgiving him. He does not offer any forgiveness: when LaSalle asks if his one evil act can erase all the good he did, Francis coldly tells him to ask Nicole. However, he does allow LaSalle to redeem himself a little by letting him take his own life. Is Franciss drive to revenge more about LaSalles guilt or his own?

62 Guilt and forgiveness Francis is driven by the need to find forgiveness for having let Nicole down by leaving her alone with LaSalle. The guilt of the action, and the fact that she blamed him for it, are almost overwhelming. He wants to die, and closes doors to the future because he doesnt feel he deserves either recognition as a hero or to live.

63 Larry and Forgiveness Ironically LaSalle gives Francis a measure of forgiveness, when he tells him that he couldnt have stopped the rape – he was just a child.

64 Nicole and Forgiveness Nicole offers Francis forgiveness in a very understated way. As it turns out she regrets blaming him for the rape, and tried to tell him so many years ago, but he had already left for the army. It is somewhat of an anti-climax, but the real person he needs forgiveness from is himself.

65 Francis and Concealment Francis arrives in Frenchtown with his face wrapped up and concealed. On one level hes hiding his injuries from sight, to stop them horrifying others like they did the small boy in London who cried. The idea of a face wrapped up in bandages recalls horror films of the early part of the twentieth century. It may deliberately recall the image of the Invisible Man. Hes also concealing his identity – he lies to Mrs Belander about how he knows her name, and the wrappings conceal whatever might be recognised. Francis is therefore able to walk around town completely unrecognised, except as a war veteran.

66 Larry and Concealment Larry LaSalle also has a secret concealed in his past – the mysterious reason as to why he had left his showbiz career to become a youth worker. We never find out what this reason is, but it is implied by LaSalles referring to sweet young things in the plural in his last encounter with Francis, that it was for something similar to his rape of Nicole. In the beginning this mystery seems attractive, adding to his glamour.

67 Novel structure This theme is exemplified by the structure of the novel, which weaves the three timelines together. Cormier uses foreshadowing extensively to create tension in the novel – such as when Francis tells us in the first chapter that he has just prayed for the man [he is] going to kill. Then he gradually reveals different morsels of information, about Franciss war experience and the pre-war life in Frenchtown.

68 Psychological Disfigurement Francis physical disfigurement is more obvious than his psychological problems, but these are still very serious. Francis is already a shy and fragile individual before the war, through the loss of his parents. What happens to Nicole inflicts terrible guilt upon him, and he develops a death- wish which means he joins the army in order to die. His experiences in the army, killing boys no older than himself traumatize him further. He returns to Frenchtown obsessed with the idea of killing Larry LaSalle, with not thought for the future, and only his desire for revenge to keep him going. He seems unwilling or unable to enter into relationships with other people now.

69 Obsession Francis spends the whole book waiting for LaSalles return to Frenchtown so that he can seek revenge. Yet when the moment comes his hand is shaking and he is overwhelmed. In the end LaSalle takes his own life – but it seems unlikely that Francis could actually have gone through with it, despite his plans and protestations. He does do his best to ensure that he has no future, by burning the contact details of his friend from the hospital in England, and of the doctor who says he will repair his face. He calls this closing doors to the future. He seems to be doing this to leave himself no option but to go through with this plan. Hope returns to the novel in the final chapter when he thinks about tracking them down again.

70 Isolation Francis feels he has to keep his identity secret because of what he is planning to do. But you also get the idea this is how he wants it to be anyway. There is a huge contrast between him and the other veterans in the St. Judes Club – he clearly doesnt fit. Its ironic that he is actually still too young to drink in the St. Judes Club. It is worth noting that everyone Francis ever loves in the book – his parents – his Uncle – Nicole and even Larry are either dead or beyond his reach by the end of the book.

71 Francis and Larry:1 Francis feelings for Larry are complicated. The first thing he tells us about Larry is that he has come back to Frenchtown to kill him. Yet when he first describes Larry there is more than an element of hero worship. Larry is everything Francis isnt, but would like to be – confident, full of skills and charisma, and attractive. Quotations P. 6 I am filled with guilt and shame knowing that I just prayed for the man I am going to kill. P.29 A tall slim man stepped into view, a lock of blond hair tumbling over his forehead, a smile that revealed dazzling, movie star teeth.

72 Francis and Larry:2 He feels gratitude for Larry making him a champion through the table tennis. However he also feels jealousy at Larrys physical intimacy with Nicole when they are dancing. Quotations P. 42 then caught her, pressing her close, their faces almost touching, their lips only an inch or so from a kiss.

73 Francis and Larry:3 Larry understands Francis feelings of gratitude and his inability to stand up to him, and he uses these to manipulate Francis on the night that he rapes Nicole. Quotations P. 66 I saw Larry raising his eyebrows at me, the way he looked at me when I made a stupid move at table tennis. Get going...

74 Francis and Larry:4 Larry turns out to have had no idea of how his rape of Nicole would affect Francis. In the end he tries to help Francis come to terms with his own feelings of guilt. He cannot come to terms with losing Francis respect Quotations P. 81 Oh, Francis, youre too hard on yourself... You couldnt have stopped me anyway, Francis. You were just a child. P.82 Dont look at me like that... If I could have one thing it would be to have you look at me again the way you did at the Wreck Centre. When I was the big hero you say I was.

75 Francis and Larry:5 In the end, Larry does the one thing he can do for Francis, which is to save him from having to either pull the trigger and become a murderer, ro to fail in his mission, by letting Francis know that he is about to kill himself. Does this make him Francis real hero after all? Quotations P. 84 Downstairs, at last, after what seems like a long time, I pause at the outside door. The sound of a pistol shot cracks the air.

76 Larry LaSalle Heroic qualities His past Relationships His death Physical appearence Physical abilities Courage – silver star Ability to inspire others Dark hints and rumours Stage career What he tells Francis Other people Francis Nicole Disease Motives Suicide Hero or Villain

77 Larry - Courage LaSalle joins up the very first morning after war is declared; his actions in the war lead to him being awarded a Silver Star medal, and when he returns home on leave he is given a heros welcome by the townspeople and the members of the Wreck Centre. He never discuss his innermost reasons for joining up. Is it possible that his motives are similar to Francis? Does his reputation as a war hero help him do what he does to Nicole? Quotations P. 51 As we were about to cheer his announcement he held up his hand.None of that, kids.Im just doing what millions of others are doing. P.56 A New England marine is one of the great heroes of Pacific action, receiving the Silver Star...

78 Larry - Courage Is it courage that allows him to talk calmly to Francis, to talk him out of becoming a murderer, and to kill himself so that Francis has not failed? Quotations P. 83 So lower your gun, Francis. One gun is enough for what has to be done.

79 Larry – Physical Abilities It is clear that Larry has admirable physical abilities. He is an excellent sportsman, and a dancer who is compared to Fred Astaire. Whatever the kids in the Wreck Centre do, he can usually do it better. His appearance and physical abilities are things which inspire admiration and hero worship in others. Quotations P. 29... Had the borad shoulders of an athlete, and the narrow hips of a dancer. He swung the bat with authority... He was also a dancer with a touch of Fred Astaire in his walk, his feet barely touching the floor.

80 Larry - Appearence The first thing about Larry that Francis describes is his appearance. It is not accidental that he compares him to a film star. Film stars are actors – so is Larry to the extent that his physical appearance conceals what he really is. Quotations P.29 A tall slim man stepped into view, a lock of blond hair tumbling over his forehead, a smile that revealed dazzling, movie star teeth.

81 Larry - Appearence Its ironic that Larrys illness removes his physical attractiveness at the end. Is this a sign of his sins catching up with him? Quotations P.78 He is pale, eyes sunk into the sockets... And he seems fragile now, as if caught in an old photograph that has faded and yellowed with age.

82 Larrys Inspirational Qualities Larry consistently has the ability to inspire the children around him to want to do more, and to learn things and become things. You can argue that for MOST of the children at the Wreck Centre, he makes them better people. Even at the end he is trying to make sure that Francis doesnt do the wrong thing, by becoming a murderer. Quotations P.31 He tamed the notorious school bully, Butch Bartoneau, convincing him that he could sing... Under Larry LaSalles guidance Edna Beauchene, tall and gawky and shy, became the hit of the show.

83 Larrys Past The children of the Wreck Centre are so inspired by Larry that even though they do hear dark rumours about his past, they ignore them. Later on it becomes clear that these must have had something to do with him doing to other grils what he did to Nicole. Quotations P.32 there were dark hints that he had gotten into trouble in New York City... Dazzled by his talent and his energy, none of us dwelt on the rumours. In fact, the air of mystery that surrounded him added to his glamour.

84 His final meeting with Francis Larrys comment Ah, the sweet young things. make it clear that Nicole was not his first ever victim. Quotations P.32 there were dark hints that he had gotten into trouble in New York City... Dazzled by his talent and his energy, none of us dwelt on the rumours. In fact, the air of mystery that surrounded him added to his glamour.

85 His Stage Career Few details are given, but we learn that Larry has been a night club performer in New York and Chicago. Quotations P.31 Rumours told us that Larry LaSalle had also been a star, performing in night clubs in New York and Chicago. Someone brought in a faded newspaper clipping, showing him in a tuxedo, stainding beside a night club placard that read Starring Larry LaSalle.

86 His Stage Career Few details are given, but we learn that Larry has been a night club performer in New York and Chicago. Quotations P.31 Rumours told us that Larry LaSalle had also been a star, performing in night clubs in New York and Chicago. Someone brought in a faded newspaper clipping, showing him in a tuxedo, stainding beside a night club placard that read Starring Larry LaSalle.

87 Larry and Nicole Even before he rapes Nicole there are hints of Larrys intentions towards her when they are dancing. Larry also tells her and Francis that they are his favourites. Nicole maybe suspects that Larry is going to do something as Francis is leaving Quotations P.43 Nicoles the star on Sunday and I want you to be the star on Saturday. Larry LaSalle said. Im not supposed to play favourites, Francis, but you and Nicole are special to me. P.67 A patter of feet, and then a hand touched my shoulder. Dont go. Nicole whispered in my ear.

88 Larry and Nicole After Larry kills himself, Francis tells Nicole. She finds it difficult to talk about him and what he did. She does talk briefly about what he did and what he was before he came back. She explains why she never told anyone, saying that she had no visible marks, and he was a war hero. Quotations P. 91 Dont say it Francis. I know what he was. For a while there he made me feel special. Made all of us feel special. Made me think I was a ballerina. Now Im starting to find out who I really am. P.92 He was a big war hero. He didnt beat me up. No visible wounds. So, I didnt tell anybody.

89 Larry and Nicole Earlier Larry said that Nicole was special to him. But at the end you can have to ask whether she was anything more than just another sweet young thing. Does he really show any regret for what he did to her? He seems far more upset that Francis doesnt look at him like he is a hero any more. Quotations P. 81 You could have had anybody. I say, my voice too loud, booming in my ears.All those beautiful ladies at the dance that night. Why Nicole? The sweet young things, Francis. Even their heat is sweet. P.82Does that one sin of mine wipe away all of the good things?

90 Other People The only other person who doesnt seem to think Larry is all he seems to be is Joey LeBlanc, who listens to all the hints, and reckons that there must be something wrong with him since he works in the Wreck Centre. Everyone else makes Larry a hero. When he comes home he has a massive civic reception from the Mayor. The Strangler has more pages about Larry in his scrapbook than anyone else. Larrys reputation as a hero is one of the reasons why Nicole does not tell anyone what he did. In the end, though, he is on his own. For all of the hero worship he has not a single close relationship with anyone.

91 Larrys Illness During the war Larry has contracted a wasting disease which has robbed him of his energy, and is wasting away his muscles and his body. It means that he will never again be able to do what he did to Nicole to anyone else. Is Larrys disease a reflection of his inner corruption? Is it a punishment for what he has done? Quotations P. 81 No wounds that you can see Francis. But Im worn out.They called it jungle fever at first. But I dont think they really know what it is... P.82No more dancing for me Francis. No more sweet young things.

92 Larrys Suicide Larry persuades Francis not to kill him, by taking out his own gun, and showing Francis that he is ready to kill himself. Quotations P. 83 Go Francis. Leave everything here, the war, what happened in the Wreck Centre, leave it all behind with me.

93 Larrys motives for suicide Is he trying to redeem himself? Can he simply not face life in his state of health, the fact that there will be no more dancing and no more sweet young things? LaSalle never expresses a sense of guilt over the crimes he committed, so are meant to think that it is not done because he regrets what he did at all?

94 Hero or Villain Villain of course, since he did what he did to Nicole, and probably other girls besides. He does not regret what he did, only at the end that he cannot do it any more. However to the townspeople of Frenchtown, chances are that he will be remembered as the hero that they have made him. Is his last act heroic? Or is it a reaction to the fact that he cannot bear the fact that Francis does not look on him with hero worship any more?

95 Nicole Renard Nicole and Francis Nicole and Larry HeroismThe Future Worship Guilt Why Francis? Before the assault After the assault Her heroes? Heroic qualities Hers Francis

96 Why does Nicole like Francis? Its clear she likes him before he wins the table tennis – its just not clear why. Marie may have told her he likes her. She seems amused by the shy way he acts around her. After the table tennis, he is her champion. Quotations P. 48 She was suddenly in front of me, radiant, clasping my hand, whispering, My champion.

97 Before the assault? Nicole has no physical feelings for Larry that we can see. She respects him as her teacher, but never really sees him in any other way. Its not even clear whether she has the same kind of hero worship for him that Francis has – she very much wants Francis to beat him at table tennis. She is scared of Larry when he insists Francis leaves so that they can dance.

98 Nicoles Heroes? She never seems to quite hero worship Larry the same way that Francis does. However there is a hint that she starts to feel that way about Francis. She calls him her champion, and in the olden days a champion was someone sworn to serve and protect his lady. In the end, he fails to protect her from Larry LaSalle. Is her initial reaction to blame him because he has not lived up to her vision of him? Is this why she forgives him and thinks she has been unfair to him? Quotations P. 94 My good Francis. My table tennis champion. My silver star hero.

99 Nicoles Heroism? Francis seems to worship Nicole from the start, but is that the same as his hero worship of Larry? Nicole shows great bravery and strength of character in – going to apologise to Francis for what she said Not telling her parents because she feels it would kill them Keeping on, and making her life Not lying to Francis when he asks if he can come and see her some times. Quotations P. 93 OK, she says, if Im not exactly alright then Im… She screws up her face, searching for the right word. Im adjusting. Getting better all the time.

100 Nicoles Future? She does have one. When Francis talks to her she makes it clear that she is not over what happened – maybe she will never be, but she is coping. She has a future in St. Annes, where she plans to be a teacher. Its a little ironic since Francis said at the start that Larry himself was first and foremost a teacher. In this she is an example to Francis that maybe a future is something he ought to consider. Quotations P. 93 She tells me about the routine at St. Annes. That she wants to be a teacher, English maybe.

101 Francis Future? It is only Nicole who can make Francis think about the future. She tells him to write about what a hero actually is. In the very last page of the book, he is actually considering options for things he could or should do. It doesnt mean that he will do any of them, but at least it shows that there is hope, although his future is uncertain. Quotations P. 94 Write about it Francis. Maybe you can find the answer that way.... Have a good life, Francis. Be whatever will make you happy.

102 Revision Characters The writer Themes PlotBackground Exam Questions

103 Revision Questions Characters Say two ways Francis reacts the first time he sees Nicole Answer – he thinks she looks like a statue of St. Therese, and he wants to kneel at her feet like a knight. Who says to Francis We werent heroes – we were only there.? Answer – Arthur Rivier Who does Francis tell that he wanted to die when he fell on the grenade? Answer – Larry LaSalle Francis has a dream of boys with apple cheeks, too young to shave. Who were they? Answer – the German soldiers he killed.

104 Revision Questions Characters Who is the only person to discover Francis identity before he meets Larry again? Arthur Rivier What does Larry say he wants more than anything at the end of the book? To have Francis look at him the same way he did in the Wreck Centre What clue is there in the description of Larry when he comes home on furlough that something bad is going to happen? Francis thinks he looks sharper and lethal Why doesnt Francis commit suicide in the church? Because it would be a sin, and a cowardly act.

105 Revision Questions Characters Who are : - Francis Landlady? Mrs. Belander The bartender at the St. Judes club? The Strangler The doctor who worked on Francis face? Doctor Abrams The boy Francis beat in the table tennis final? Louis Arabelle The person who told Francis where Nicole was? Sister Mathilde

106 Revision Questions Plot Which exact event is interrupted by the announcement about Pearl Harbour? The party after the recital the day after the tournament What happened at the Wreck centre before Francis arrival? A jilted ex killed a bride at her wedding reception How did Larry win his silver star? Capturing an enemy machine gun nest Why did Francis start wearing scarf and bandages? A little boy in London was scared of his appearance How does Francis close the doors to his funeral? Burning Dr. Abrams details

107 Revision Questions Plot How does Francis find proof that the Renards have gone? Finding their nameplate removed from their apartment building What song is playing when Larry rapes Nicole? Dancing in the Dark What does Larry say is his illness? Jungle Fever ( although he thinks the doctors dont know what it is) Where is the place that Francis meets other veterans, who only seem to want to talk about the future? St. Judes club What is Francis asking about when Arthur recognizes his voice? If anyone knows when Larry is coming back.

108 Revision Questions Background What happened on December 7 th 1941? Attack on Pearl Harbour Which countrys forces attacked America?? Japan What was the effect of Pearl Harbour? USA joined world war II – thousands of men volunteered immediately for the armed forces – like Larry Larry is compared to Fred Astaire – who was he? A movie star dancer

109 Revision Questions The Writer Who wrote Heroes Robert Cormier When was it written? 1998 What was Cormiers inspiration for the book? The 50 th Anniver5say of D – Day (1994) made him think about the heroism of ordinary people who never received medals for bravery. What did Cormier himself do for the war? He was kept out of the armed forces with bad eyesight, and worked and studied instead.

110 Revision Questions Quotation best fit – which themes do the following quotes relate to? We had discovered in one Sunday afternoon that the world was not a safe place anymore. Loss of innocence ( mainly ) – war Nicole: "I shouldn't have said those things that day to you on the piazza Forgiveness "I haven't always worn the scarf and bandage Concealment and revealment Arthur: "We weren't heroes. We were only there. Heroism – what is a hero?

111 Exam Questions How does Robert Cormier present the character of Nicole in his novel? [20] How does Robert Cormier present the character of Francis in his novel? [20] How does Robert Cormier present the character of Larry in his novel? [20] A story of revenge. To what extent do you agree with this description of Heroes? [20] Heroes is an unusual title for the book, considering that none of the characters are heroes. To what extent do you agree with this statement? [20]

112 Exam Questions How does Robert Cormier present the character of Nicole in his novel? [20] How does Robert Cormier present the character of Francis in his novel? [20] How does Robert Cormier present the character of Larry in his novel? [20] A story of revenge. To what extent do you agree with this description of Heroes? [20] Heroes is an unusual title for the book, considering that none of the characters are heroes. To what extent do you agree with this statement? [20]

113 Exam Questions Which character, if any, do you consider to be the real hero of Heroes?[20] Discuss what you consider to be the most important theme of Heroes? [20] Discuss the way that the theme of heroism is presented in Heroes [20] Discuss the way that the theme of concealment is presented in Heroes [20] Discuss the way that the theme of the loss of innocence is presented in Heroes [20] Discuss the way that the theme of war is presented in Heroes [20]

114 Heroes by Robert Cormier End of Presentation. Click to exit

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