In the book Heroes by Robert Cormier Larry LaSalle is a mysterious and shady character who often controls the others in the book even when it would seem he was in a hopelessly weak position. However he is popular and stands out from the crowd and ran a popular youth club for teens. He was also a decorated war hero, who, like Francis Joseph Cassavant, had won a Silver Star medal for bravery. However little is known about his previous life (lives?).
In chapter five, Larry LaSalle is portrayed, in stark contrast to the rest of the book, as a Good Samaritan, who helps out at the local youth club regularly an runs events such as sport tournaments and dances, often himself competing but allowing himself to loose to make other people feel good. “Larry LaSalle was everywhere in the centre, showing how strips of leather could be made into key chains, old wine jugs into lamps, lumps of clay into ashtrays.” This represents the good well-respected, public side of Larry LaSalle, a soldier, a volunteer, and a hero.
The metaphor of the game shows that Larry LaSalle always has to be in control. It shows that Larry LaSalle always has to, and always will, win in the end. “Fran-cis, Fran-cis.” More applause shouts and whistles. Then a voice from the crowd. “You can do it Francis”…He could win it so easily and so humiliatingly that the crowd- Nicole, would know he had been toying with me all along” This shows that Larry has the ultimate power to make or break Francis Cassavant’s relationship with Nicole Renard and so he has complete control over both of them and that they will have no choice but to do whatever he wants to return the favour. He is constantly forced to do just as Larry wants by his love for Nicole which constantly puts him in awkward and untenable positions.
Larry LaSalle’s war hero portrayal is to show that even people who seem great, brave, kind and benevolent on the inside can sometimes do the worst things...