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. “”to larry lasalle the best of the best”, “movie star smile”, both of these quotes portray a heroic image of him which intrigues the audience. However this intensifies the impact of the tragedy when it happens. This ambiguity about LaSalle’s character is sustained through the book, reflecting the theme of suppression and revelation. Despite LaSalle’s ‘dazzling movie-star’ good looks when he arrives in the town, there is a sense of uneasy mystery about him, as to why he turned his back on show business. Cormier uses this technique of foreshadowing and undermining throughout the novel, reflecting the uncertainty of many of the themes and characters of the book