An Outline of "Heroes"

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Heroes – Robert Cormier
Key Quotations

Chapter 1 – page 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.”  Establishes the setting  Introduces narrator in first person  Surprising statement creates mystery

Chapter 1 – page 1
“Oh, I have eyes… but no ears to speak of, just bits of dangling flesh. But that’s fine, like Dr Abrams says… He was joking, of course.”  Conversational style of address  Creates a close bond between the reader and the narrator

Chapter 1 – page 1
Description of Francis’s physical injuries.  Described in a matter-of-fact way  Creates sympathy in the reader – but does Francis expect this?  Makes the reader want to know why he looks like this

Chapter 1 – page 2
“But not having much success” and “I don’t blame them”  Francis has low self-esteem and lacks confidence  Presented as single-sentence paragraphs to draw attention to them

Chapter 1 – page 3
“This was proof that the scarf and the bandage were working in two ways: not only to hide the ugliness of what used to be my face, but to hide my identity.”  Why is Francis trying to hide?  Creates mystery  Francis believes he is ugly

Chapter 1 – page 4
“I thought of Nicole Renard, realizing I had not thought of her for, oh, maybe two hours.”  First mention of Nicole  Suggests Francis may be in love with her  Makes the reader ask questions

Chapter 1 – page 4
“She had always been generous when I did her errands and her tips paid for my ten-cent movie tickets at the Plymouth on Saturday afternoons.”  Francis knows Mrs Belander from before the war  In a first reading, the Plymouth seems unimportant

Chapter 1 – page 4
“At that moment, I knew that I was really anonymous, that I wasn’t Francis Joseph Cassavant anymore but a tenant in Frenchtown.”  Why does Francis want to be anonymous?  Contrasts with the opening sentence

Chapter 1 – page 5
“I was home again in Frenchtown. I thought of the gun hidden away in my duffel bag and knew that my mission was about to begin.”  What is Francis’s mission?  Why does he have a gun?  Creates mystery and suspense

Chapter 1 – page 5
Francis briefly mentions his dead father and mother, and younger brother.  This is one of the few times they are mentioned in the novel  Why doesn’t Francis talk about them more often?  He wants to forget the past

Chapter 1 – page 6
“Then I am filled with guilt and shame, knowing that I just prayed for the man I am going to kill.”  Francis frequently feels guilt and shame  This section emphasises his religious feelings  Statement creates dramatic tension

Chapter 1 – page 7
“‘You’re a big hero,’ he said. ‘A Silver Star hero.’”  This is the first reference to being a hero in the novel  The reader wonders why Francis has been awarded the Silver Star

Chapter 1 – page 7
“I am not a hero, of course, and I turn away in disgust.”  Francis has low self-esteem  Why doesn’t he believe he is a hero?  Why does he say “of course”?

Chapter 1 – page 7

“And even though I am home from the war, I wonder if I will ever see her again.” The chapter ends on a cliff-hanger Where is Nicole? What happened to her?

Chapter 2 – page 8
“The most beautiful girl I had ever seen… The pale purity of her face reminded me of the statue of St Therese… I silently pledged her my love and loyalty forever.”  Francis’s first description of Nicole shows how he reveres her  Over-exaggeration

Chapter 2 – page 9
“Was the look that passed between us that first day a wish of my imagination?”  Emphasises Francis’s lack of self-esteem  Is this typical teenage angst?

Chapter 2 – page 12
“I never knew love could be so agonising.”  This is ironic  For Francis, his love for Nicole does become agony

Chapter 2 – page 12
“I wondered whether she’d been waving at Joey LeBlanc or me.”  Again, Francis lacks the confidence to believe that...
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