Heroes 6

I remember what I said to Nicole about not knowing who the real heroes are and I think of my old platoon. Sonny Orlandi, Spooks Reilly and Blinky Chambers, Eddie Richards and his diarrhoea. Erwin Eisenberg, Henry Johnson, hit by shrapnel. And those who died, Jack Smith and Billy O’Brien, and all the others. I think of Enrico, minus his legs, his arm. I think of Arthur Rivier, drunk and mournful that night in the alley. We were only there. Scared kids, not born to fight and kill. Who were not only there but who stayed, did not run away, fought the good war. And never talked about it. And didn’t receive a Silver Star. But heroes, anyway. The real heroes.
Maybe if I’m going to write as Nicole hopes I will, I should write about them.
Maybe I should buy a typewriter and get started.
Maybe I should try to find Dr Abrams’ telephone number in Kansas City.
Maybe I should track down Enrico, check out those hospitals he told me about.
I should do all those things.
I think of Nicole.
I think of the gun inside my duffel bag at my feet.
I pick up the duffel bag and sling it over my shoulder. The weight is nice and comfortable on my back as I cross the lobby, heading for the exit and the next train to leave the station.

Comment on how language is used to give impact to the ending of the book.

For a B grade:
i. Francis lists his army comrades – who has he been writing about in the rest of the book? How does this mark a change in his thinking?
ii. There are four ‘maybes’ – what do these suggest?
iii. What does ‘the next train’ symbolise?
For an A grade:
i. The reader hopes that the protagonist will have solved his issues by the end of the story – what phrases suggests that Francis has forgiven himself?
ii. Does he still feel alone?
iii. ‘I think of the gun inside my duffel bag’ leads the reader to think how the book could have ended differently – Francis makes a final choice here – what is it?


3 thoughts on “Heroes 6

  1. Georgia

    By Cormier, repeating the word ‘maybe’ four times, it reminds the reader that he is not certain on what he is going to write about yet. Moreover, it implies that Francis is thinking things through carefully and dosn’t want to make the wrong decision and therefore helps to add interest to this part of the book. Also by listing his army comrades, it helps to reflect back to the beginning of the book and shows the jouney that he has taken, to the audience.

    In addition, Cormier adds in the phrase: ‘I cross the lobby, heading for the exit and the next train to leave the station’, at the end of this extract. Moreover, the phrase ‘ heading for the exit and the next train to leave the station’, implies that Francis is waiting for the next event in his life. Furthermore, Francis isn’t actually stood waiting for the next train; this phrase is added for the reader to be able to take add their own opinion on what that phrase means and what happens next.

    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      Really good Georgia. Use phrases like ‘symbolises’ or ‘symbolism’. When you answer these questions in the exam, be as specific as this (you won’t have my prompts – will you be able to write like this?) ________________________________________

  2. Sapphire

    Francis reflex on the heroes of the war and his army comrades which contrast with the rest of the book as the main topics are Larry, Nicole and his doubtfulness of his own heroism. However it reminds the reader of the begin of the book as there is the mention of them previously, this allows the reader to remember the journey that Francis has taken. By Francis listing all of these people it suggests a change in his thinking as he believes the people who ‘fought the good war’ are the real heroes as they did not run away from the danger, which possibly includes himself. Francis also thinks of how despite the fact that many did not receive a star, they are still the real heroes, they were not born to fight.

    Cormier repeats the word ‘maybe’ four times and uses short sentences, this suggests that Francis is doubtful of what to do next. This is because he believes he should do all these things however he is still in conflict with himself as to whether to proceed with his plans or not. By incorporating maybe to all of these different things it suggests that Francis is now thinking clearly of his plans rather than being reckless.

    Francis is ‘heading for the exit and the next train’ which symbolises the end of this part of his life and his next journey and new beginning which he hopes to start. In addition to this, it leaves this part of the book with a cliffhanger as you do not know what he is wishing to achieve only his possible plans which he is evaluating in his head, this makes the reader wonder whether he will achieve these things and fulfil his wishes.


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