Heroes 5

Silence falls between us, broken only by the swish of the tennis rackets and the plopping of the ball outside and the distant laughter of a girl in a corridor somewhere.
‘Why did you come here today?’ she asks.
The question surprises me. Didn’t she know I’d track her down sooner or later?
‘I wanted to see you again. To tell you that I’m sorry, too, for what happened. To see if ….’
‘If I was all right? To see if I had survived?’ That bitter twist back in her voice again.
To see if maybe you could still be my girl. Which could maybe change my mind about the gun in the duffel bag.
‘Well, I’m all right.’ ‘Lifts her hands, palms upwards. ‘Don’t I look as if I am alright?’ A bright smile on her lips but not in her eyes.
For once in my life, I’m not timid with her.
‘I don’t think so, Nicole’.
‘Don’t think what?’
‘I don’t think you’re all right.’
She looks at me for a long moment, as still as the stopped clock on the wall.
‘Did you ever tell anyone about it, Nicole? Did you ever talk about it?’

Comment on how language is used to present Nicole’s feelings in the extract.
For a B grade:
i. What does the sound of the tennis match symbolise?
ii. And what does the sound of a girl laughing represent?
iii. How is the sound of her voice described?
For an A grade:
i. How does the preposition ‘between us’ help the reader understand how Nicole is feeling?
ii. ‘a bright smile on her lips but not in her eyes’ betrays what about her feeling?
iii. The dialogue exchanges are not just short, but curt – what effect does that have?
iv. How does the simile ‘as still as the stopped clock on the wall’ help us understand Nicole’s situation?

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2 thoughts on “Heroes 5

  1. Georgia

    At this time in the book the tension is very high between Francis and Nicole; by Cormier adding in the phrase: ‘Silence falls between us, broken only by the swish of the tennis rackets and the plopping of the ball outside’, it helps link back to the character of Larry. Larry taught Francis how to play Table tennis, and although it is the sound of normal tennis rackets, it still links back to the wreck centre and the aweful even that hapenned there involving Nicole and Larry. This causes the reader to reflect back on what has happenned previously in the story, and engages them more. It also makes the reader feel symapthey towards the character of Nicole again, as it brings back what Francis witnessed Larry do to her.

    In addition, by Cormier adding in the sound effect of a girl laughing at this point it helps to link back to previously in the book. Moreover, Nicole used to be happy and laughed alot around Francis; this all changed. After the incodent with Larry, Nicole never went back to her own happy sefe; she changed. Therefore, this helps to show a clear contrast to what Nicole used to be like and what she is like at this point near the end of the book.

    Cormier, portrays Nicoles emotional state through the tone of her voice. Furthermore, Nicole interrupts Francis by saying: ‘If I was all right? To see if I had survived?’. By Nicole interrupting Francis it shows that she is angry and knows what he was going to say. In addition, Cormier describes her tone of voice by saying the phrase- ‘That bitter twist back in her voice again’, after she had spoken.This depicts that Nicole is being sarcastic and isn’t treating Francis with very much respect. It implies that Nicole dosn’t want Francis there.

    Reply
    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      Great answers, Georgia. What do you think of the outcome of the book? I don’t think Nicole forgives Francis, does she? Do you blame him? Should he be forgiven? He was only young. Do you wish they got back together? ________________________________________

      Reply

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