Heroes, Heroism Exam Question

1347 WordsDec 7, 20136 Pages
The title “Heroes” immediately highlights heroism as a key theme to the novel, because it is planted into the reader’s sub-conscious mind, so they identify heroism in everything they read, even if that is not the concept Cormier’s intended to present. Acting as an umbrella term, “heroes” represents the many values associated with heroism, repeated throughout the novel. Some may see it as an overbearing, forced title that Cormier uses to make heroism into the main focus, because he failed to do so in the novel. However, I believe that the plethora of themes investigated, particularly contrasts of love-hate, guilt-forgiveness, appearances-reality and fear-bravery, are brought together in “Heroes” during the search for the definition of…show more content…
LaSalle’s dedication to the renaissance of the Wreck Centre was second to none; likewise his efforts to make the children there happy were immeasurable. Talent seemed to be limitlessly supplied to Larry, shown through his ability to dance, perform, play sport – like table tennis, entertain and coax into inclusion. Everything Larry did in the Wreck Centre was undertaken with the utmost enthusiasm, so much so that despite his older, adult, teacher role, the children viewed him as one of them, just a perfect one! Only Nicole and Francis know that Larry LaSalle is really a fraud and that his love for the Wreck Centre kids is actually twisted and revolting. Although Francis is clearly of the opinion that Larry’s “one sin” of raping Nicole does “wipe away all the good”, Cormier manages to hold back on persuading the reader to adopt this belief, allowing them to make up their own mind. This suggests that Cormier is accepting that heroism does not have one single definition; instead it is more a case of individual perception. LaSalle was also a national hero. He was awarded the Silver Star for capturing an “enemy machine gun nest”, a brave, sacrificial, heroic act. Most notably, LaSalle’s gallantry was deliberate, unlike Francis’. Here lies a moral dilemma, in that the reader feels like they owe it to Nicole, the victim of LaSalle’s rape, to hate Larry and yet, they cannot deny that his behaviour in war was more heroic than Francis’, since

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