Tension And Tension And Suspense In Heroes By Francis Cormier

784 Words 4 Pages
Register to read the introduction… The story is told through a mixture of memories and flashbacks. This means that the reader is continually moving between present and past and piecing together information in order to understand why the three principle characters think and behave as they do. A good example is the way in which we come to understand why Francis wants revenge on Larry- which we learn in chapter 1. Our introduction to Larry in chapter 4 is positive – he is described as being glamorous ‘ a smile that revealed dazzling movie star teeth’; accomplished ‘ he hit home runs’, ‘he was also a dancer’. This inevitably creates intrigue because we cannot find an explanation for why Larry would now be Francis’ enemy. This continues in a series of flashbacks. Each flashback reveals something else which is attractive and appealing about Larry. We learn that he empowered Francis by developing his skills at table tennis; we learn that he unselfishly let Francis’ win a key match in order that the other children would respect him. We learn that he was the first to enlist in the army and we learn that he was awarded a silver star for bravery. All these revelations serve to wrong-foot the reader and make the drama of the rape very powerful. They also serve to make the reader feel as angry as Francis does, because the reader has also been duped by …show more content…
Larry now exhausted by the war welcomes Francis into his flat. He talks to Francis as if he is still the young man who needed his love, support and encouragement at the Wreck centre; not realising that Francis now knows the real Larry. As readers we think that once Larry learns that Francis knows about the rape he will show some remorse. However, this is not the case as he explains that he is drawn to ‘the sweet young things’. We realise, as Francis, does that Larry has probably raped young women before. And we also learn that Larry cannot understand why this is wrong ‘Does that one sin of mine wipe away all the good things?’ Larry asks, and as readers we finally understand how repulsive Larry really is. Cormier seems to underline this by describing the sound of the bullet with which Larry kills himself being ‘like a ping – pong ball striking the table.’ This simile transports us back to the table tennis match that Larry let Francis win. It underlines one of the key themes in the novel; the distance between appearance and

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