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How is the character of Larry Lasalle used in Robert Cormier's Heroes?

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Introduction

How is the character of Larry Lasalle used in ?Heroes?? ________________ Throughout ?heroes? Robert Cormier uses Larry Lasalle to highlight the ordinariness of evil and you cannot just judge a person purely on their physical appearance. He is also crucial to plot of the novel as he determines Francis? motivations. Larry Lasalle is also what fuels the questions in the novel such as ?What is a Hero?? From chapter one Cormier states makes it clear that LaSalle is going to be a very vital character, as Francis tells us that he is ?the man I am going to kill.? Primarily there is some ambiguity about this as Francis?s description of his own horrifying injuries combined with this statement are intended to suggest he is a monster as he alienates himself, and therefore might give sympathy to LaSalle. However, even by this stage the reader is empathising with Francis, and therefore doubts that LaSalle may not be the victim. The character of Larry Lasalle is also used to intrigue that reader. Cormier does this by constantly describing him as a hero and the perfect mentor. ...read more.

Middle

Cormier also uses Larry Lasalle to create tragedy within the novel. The build up of his character being so perfect and hero-worshiped, when he does rape Nicole the offence becomes even more mystifying and disregard by the reader as a ?hero? committed it. Dichotomy is shown within his character when he returned from war. Cormier uses this dichotomy to show the variety of emotions and feeling towards other characters such as Francis. Through this Cormier is trying to prove that good and evil can occur at the same time hence one of his themes ?the ordinariness of evil?. Lassalle dichotomy is shown again, when Francis later meets Lasalle. This time he seems ?pale? skinned and is described many times to be ?fragile? this shows a level of authority to be los and he no longer has power over Francis, making him a weaker character in the novel. He uses a patronising tone towards Francis by declaring ?couldn?t of stopped me anyway Francis. You were just a child? making him still feel incapable. ...read more.

Conclusion

can thrive and take advantage of other peoples (e.g. Nicole?s) weaknesses and fragility, creating a more ?anti-hero? theme towards the novel. Cormier uses LaSalle to show that people need to see heroism, to motivate and inspire people. For example LaSalle says faking the table tennis result to let Francis win this is a good thing for the other kids. He also has LaSalle ask the question of whether his heroic acts are devalued by his crimes. LaSalle does not feel any guilt over his actions. This limits our empathy with LaSalle. At the end of the book Francis thinks about the ordinary soldiers in his own platoon. Boys who ?didn?t receive a ?Silver Star?, but are heroes anyway. The real heroes.? Cormier is suggesting that these heroes need to be remembered, not only the famous war heroes. Throughout ?Heroes? Larry Lasalle is used to create intrigue by committing a crime that is seen to be even more horrific as he was so idolised previously, due to his heroic war contributions. The rape destroys both Nicole and Francis life together but helps raise the question ?what really makes a hero?? and helps to make the reader think about making better judgment on heroes themselves, creating a really thought provoking novel. Rebecca Fairhurst ...read more.

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