Heroes Character Analysis

Who is Nicole Renard? Nicole Renard is an innocent young girl who is not only Francis’ first and only love but also the victim of Larry LaSalle. Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Quotation ‘That would be nice. ’ Means? When she agrees to go to the cinema with Francis she transforms him. She offers him attention and affection that he has lack in his life so far.

She enjoys his company and teases him playfully because he is so shy. ‘Stay close to me. ’ ‘Why didn’t you do something? ’ These words on the night of the civic reception indicate that she is… In the aftermath of the assault Nicole becomes ……… She feels betrayed by Francis and has contempt for his ……. ‘Why did you come here today? ’ These words perhaps indicate ……. Examiner’s tip: writing about Nicole Nicole is flattered by the attentions of Larry. How do we know this? How does she show she enjoys her friendship with Francis? How is her relationship with Francis emotionally different to her relationship with Larry?

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Francis sees her as a fantasy figure; Larry sees her in a very different way. What is the effect? Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Who is Larry LaSalle? Larry is a mysterious youth worker who has the ability to find and develop the talents of young people; however, beneath the surface there lies a dark and unpleasant side. Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Quotation ‘A tall slim man stepped into view, a lock of blond hair tumbling over his forehead, a smile that revealed dazzling moviestar teeth. ’ ‘”Good morning,” he said. “My name’s Larry LaSalle. ”’ ‘He was our champion and we were happy to be in his presence. ’ ‘He applauded her, his eyes looking deeply into her, as she lay at his feet. ‘”What’s the matter? ” Larry LaSalle asked. ’ ‘We have to keep the world safe for these young people – they are our future. ’ ‘Sweet young things. ’ ‘Does that one sin of mine wipe away all the good things? ’ Means? Larry is established as an attractive and glamorous figure. It is as if he has stepped down from the cinema screen as he will appear to do again later. This makes him a natural centre of attention. Right from the start Larry is out to create an impression. What role does Larry have immediately? What might Larry enjoy about this?

He wins the respect and the devotion of all the young people because he is good at the things they admire. As their hero they believe that he can do no wrong. What is the effect of this? Larry’s behaviour towards Nicole is an important indication of the way he regards young women. What might this body position tell us about him? Use the words dominant and submissive in your answer. Larry has positive qualities. Thinking of his relationship with Francis, what are these? This is an indication of the way Larry always tries to say the right thing.

Nicole must confront this hero – explain why this is ironic. What do these words reveal about Larry’s character? This comment might indicate that Larry does not accept the full extent of what he has done. Why does this quote suggest this? Examiner’s tip: writing about Larry Remember there is an essential dilemma at the heart of Larry’s character. Can we ever take anything he say says at face value? He appears to lack sincerity and honesty. He undoubtedly did many good things I his work as we see in chapter 5. However, can they ever excuse his behaviour as a serial abuser of women?

What are the manipulative elements of Larry’s character in his ‘grooming’ of Nicole? How are you aware that it is difficult to accept anything that Larry says as the truth? How is everything he says or does designed to create an effect? Robert Cormier encourages us to look beyond Larry’s physical appearance – it changes through the novel. What are the feelings Cormier encourages us to see in him beneath both appearances? Always remember that Larry sees himself as a creative figure. In fact, he is destructive. Explain this in your own words. Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Who is Arthur Rivier? Arthur, another ex-serviceman and local boy, was once a star baseball player for the Frenchtown Tigers and Francis remembers regarding him with admiration for his sporting prowess. When he first appeared in his uniform, Francis wants to emulate him. Arthur recognises Francis but agrees to keep the secret. Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Key Quote: Arthur Arthur: ‘No heroes in that scrap-book, Francis. Only us, the boys of Frenchtown. ’ Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements;

Point Explain Arthur’s character How does Arthur deal with the trauma of war? is used in the novel as a representative of all the soldiers who have suffered. Arthur appears to be positive about the future. There is a moving portrait of Arthur as a drunk. Arthur draws attention to the cruelty of war. What mask does Arthur hide behind? What does Arthur reveal here? What does he say war turns young boys in to? Who is Mrs Belander? Mrs Belander is Francis’ landlady in Frenchtown Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Key Quote: Mrs Belander Mrs Belander: ‘Poor boy. ’ Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Point Explain Mrs Belander represents the attitude of the townspeople towards war veterans.

Her home is a refuge for Francis, the only place he appears at ease. The character of Mrs Belander is used as a structural device as she is the person who unwittingly lets Francis know that Larry LaSalle has returned to Frenchtown. What is this? What effect does this have? Why does Cormier use Mrs Belander for this role? She is part of Francis’ past. Why role does Mrs Belander have in our finding out about Francis’ past? Examiner’s tip: writing about Arthur and Mrs Belander Although they have contrasting characters, Arthur and Mrs Belander represent the essential good nature of people in Frenchtown.

They both respond to Francis with understanding and offer their support to him with sympathy and respect. Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Who is Joey LeBlanc? Joey is a friend of Francis and they sometimes went to the cinema together. He would get in trouble in school by talking out of turn. The things that Joey says are an important commentary on the action.

Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Key Quote: Joey Joey: ‘Better watch out, Mister LaSalle. Francis has got your number. ’ Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements;

Point Explain Joey is a confident boy who is the complete opposite to Francis. He lives in Francis’ memory as a lively prewar boy. He died in the war. His comments about the Wreck Centre and Larry create a sense of apprehension. He suggests Larry is not what he seems. His death at Iwo Jima shows us the indiscriminate nature of war. What effect does this have? What role does Joey therefore have after the war? What is this literary technique called and why Cormier use it? What do I mean by indiscriminate nature of war? Who is Enrico Rucelli? Enrico was a close wartime comrade of Francis.

He shows great courage and is used by Cormier to illustrate some of the horrors of war. He suffered sever injuries, losing both his legs and his left arm. Although they are very different personalities, Francis and Enrico are united by their terrible injuries and their suffering. He displays a certainty about his future plans which Francis does not. Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements;

Key Quote: Enrico Francis: ‘Sometimes I think he talked so much to cover up the pain. ’ Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Point Although he does not appear in the main action of the novel, his comments, as reported by Francis, are very significant? He is the first to inform the reader that Francis was awarded the Silver Star, of which Francis is ashamed.

Despite the face that he has severe injuries, he still teases Francis. Although he is outwardly cheerful, his sense of despair adds to the atmosphere of the novel. Explain Why and how? Why did Cormier give Enrico this task in the novel? What does this tell us about Francis? How? He regards himself not as a person but as something which should be disposed of. What effect does this have on the reader? Examiner’s tip: writing about Joey and Enrico The purpose of these characters is to show the awful effects of war on ordinary young men. What is the effect? They entered the war out of a sense of duty but it destroyed them.

They are victims, their potential destroyed forever. For Francis, the dead and the maimed always exist in his mind. Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Who is Dr Abrams? Dr Abrams was the doctor who treated Francis for his facial injuries and he appeared to have had some influence on the way Francis thinks about his disfigurement. Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Key Quote: Dr Abrams Dr Abrams: ‘Great strides have been made in cosmetic surgery…Look me up when you’ve a mind to. ’ Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements;

Point Dr Abrams does not appear in the main action of the book, but his conversations form part of Francis’ memories. Dr Abrams’ comments to Francis create a grim humour in the opening chapter. His positive attitudes about the future contrast with those shown by Francis. His words add to the direct and shocking way in which Francis describes his injuries in the opening of the novel. Dr Abrams’ address and telephone number represent hope and the future. When Francis burns them in Chapter 10 it reflects Francis’ sense of despair. It is significant that at the end of the novel Francis suggests the possibility of finding Dr Abrams’ address again.

Explain Why is this important? What is the effect of this humour? What effect does this have? How? What effect does this have on the reader? Why is it significant? Who is 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. Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Who is Sister Mathilde and Sister Gerrude? 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 Francis’s teachers. As he prays in St Jude’s Church in Chapter 1, it is Sister Gerrude’s words which come into his head.

Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Key Quote: Sister Mathilde Sister Mathilde: ‘I hear you served your country well. You have made us all proud. ’ Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements;

Who is 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. Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements;

Key Quote: Uncle Louis Francis: ‘the loneliness of the tenement drove me to the Wreck Centre. ’ Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Who is 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 weets ad talks to him about books. Mr Laurier’s 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. Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements;

Key Quote: Mr Laurier Mr Laurier: ‘A kid graduates from high school, gets six weeks of basic training with guns and grenades…and five months later…he’s fighting the Japs or the Germans. ’ to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) Can I critically respond I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Who is Louis Arabelle? Louise is Francis’ opponent in the final table tennis match. Louis lost the match, ensuring that Francis won the championship

Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Who are Norman Rocheleau, Eddie Richards, Erwin Eisenberg, Blinky Chambers, Jack Smith, Sonny Orlandi, Spooks Reilly, Billy O’Brien 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. Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Who are Amran 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.

Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Revision 1. Where did Larry work before he arrived in Frenchtown? Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Revision 2.

What happened to George Richelieu in the war? Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Revision 3. Who says, ‘Is that his real name? ’ Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Revision 4.

Whose words does Francis hear when he prays in St Jude’s Church? Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Revision 5. What career does Nicole suggest Francis should follow? Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements;

Revision 6. Why does Francis believe that he is a failure? Start: Francis is a lonely and isolated child. His view of himself is changed dramatically by his relationship with Nicole and by his involvement with the Wreck Centre. However, when she is attacked … Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Revision 7. In what ways is Enrico Rucelli important in the novel?

Start: Enrico is important because he helps to create the mood and atmosphere which surrounds Francis. His horrific injuries show … Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements; Grade Booster Answer this longer practice question about the plot/action of the novel: Q: Write about the role that Joey LeBlanc plays in Heroes.

For a C grade: write about the character of Joey. Show that he is an opposite of Francis. Write about their friendship and Joey’s cheeky confidence. Show the contrast in attitude they have to Nicole. Indicate that Joey says things which allow Cormier to comment on the action and set doubts in the reader’s mind. Write about the Wreck Centre and Joey’s attitude to Larry. For an A grade: make sure you do all of the above, as well as referring to his death in the war and what it represents.

Show how his comments create a sense of foreboding and apprehension. Use well-chosen quotations. Show how Cormier deliberately uses him at key moments in the novel to punctuate illusions and suggest that things might not be what they seem. Can I critically respond to the text, ‘Heroes’? (AO1) I must generally refer to relevant aspects of Heroes I should discuss thoroughly and increasingly thoughtfully characters/relationships I could consider and suggest experimental ideas and judgements;