Larry LaSalle won a
Silver star by saving
Commits an act of violence - damages
others to stop himself getting hurt.
Francis jumped on a grenade and saved
his fellow soldiers
Took damage to himself - to stop
others getting hurt.
The concept of heroism
Arthur doesn't consider himself a hero
'We weren't heroes.
We were only there.'
It was merely chance that they were in
the war - they didn't act like heroes.
Just by being there they were heroes, they were scared but
did what they had to do which doesn't make them feel like
heroes within themselves.
Francis has always considered
Larry to be a hero for his actions
Larry decides that Francis
jumped on the grenade
because he is a hero not
that he wanted to die.
Francis doesn't feel like a hero b/c of his true
intentions for falling on the grenade but Larry
"You would have fallen on that grenade, anyway. All your
instincts would have made you sacrifice yourself for your
'Does that one sin of
mine wipe away all the
Francis explains how he had always wanted to be a hero like
Larry but now sees Larry as a fake.
Francis considers himself a
coward even when he didn't
commit suicide, Larry is the
Larry tries to be Francis' hero even at the end
by not letting Francis be a murderer.
No one talks about Larry and the rape, or the war or Francis's true intentions. Is
Cormier suggesting we need heroes even if they're fake? Heroes are never revealed for what they really are.
Francis beating Larry at table tennis is a fake win but Francis is
still seen as a hero and gives others self confidence - does this
show that even fake heroes can have a positive effect on society?
Nicole can be viewed as heroic b/c she takes the burden
upon herself & starts a new life, she even forgives Francis for
Nicole doesn't cause
her parents heartache
and selflessness is
Arthur also carries burden of war - selflessness is truly heroic.
Francis goes to war, Larry LaSalle
goes to war, Arthur goes to war...
Francis still endures bad
dreams after the war
'Too young to shave.'
'They don't talk
about the war, our
war. The scared war.'
Arthur shows how soldiers who weren't
physically harmed still have trouble dealing with
the war. Arthur is able to see 'normal' but inside
he feels different showing that people are not
always what they seem.
It could be said that the war is what caused Larry to
rape Nicole. War obviously makes Arthur unstable and
others as they don't talk about the war.
Horrors of war may have made him not care how he hurts other or lack
of women at war may have heightened his sexual desire.
'We had discovered in one moment on a
Sunday afternoon that the world was not a
safe place anymore.'
Francis leaves Nicole and Larry in the Wreck Centre
completely innocent to the sounds coming from them,
innocent to the danger she's in.
Nicole's and Francis' innocence is
stolen when Larry returns
Nicole stops wearing white and 'cuts' her hair to
demonstrate no more innocence
Francis maintains an innocent view on
the world as he goes through London
with his face uncovered.
Nicole will not see Francis after their last meeting which
closes the door on the innocence they once shared.
Their relationship was innocent.
People signing up for war were not prepared for the horrors leaving
them mentally scared and night terrors.
Francis tries to maintain naive view of how him and Nicole can have a happy ever after.
But Larry's sexual lust breaks their innocent relationship.
Francis is deeply in love and
highly romanticises Nicole
"It will always be Nicole Renard."
Larry is clearly in love with Nicole,
Francis is innocent to this
'As if they were more
than teacher and
'Pressed her close,
their lips nearly
Larry is in love with all the children in
the Wreck Centre and is enthusiastic for
Larry is loving towards the kids to make
them more confident and even makes
Francis feel better despite him threatening
to kill him.
Larry describes sexual desire - a darker side to love.
"We love our sins. We love the things that make us evil."
When at war Francis is motivated by
his love for Nicole and his guilt for
failing to save her.
Jumped on grenade for
suicide or b/c of his
brotherly love towards
Everyone seems to need
someone to worship or love to
make life seem better. For
Francis this is Nicole and for the
children it is Larry.
Francis obviously loves his family as he won't jump off
the steeple for the fear of putting sin on the family name.
Nicole loves her parents which is why she keeps the
rape a secret and her parents don't question why she
wants to move out of love for their daughter.
Larry describes feelings for 'sweet young things' but this is
lust not love.
He does seem to show paternal love for Francis as he helps him gain
confidence by losing table tennis, tells him rape is not his fault and spares
Francis having to kill him.
Patriotic love - men go to war, women take over
their jobs for their country.
Larry seems intent on
revenge for Larry's
actions and doesn't
offer him forgiveness.
Is this because Larry is
guilty of a crime or b/c
Francis needs to get rid
of his own guilt?
Francis's need for
fuels his wish to die b/c
Nicole blamed him for
At their Catholic
school Francis and
Nicole are taught
himself of the
Larry almost gives Francis means to forgive himself
as he couldn't have stopped Larry for he was just a
Nicole regrets blaming Francis - almost forgiving him but
Francis needs to learn to forgive himself.
Francis needs to forgive himself and the war just
puts more guilt upon him because he kills the
innocent German boys.
Larry offers Francis to 'leave everything behind' in the apartment so
he can leave his guilt and begin to forgive himself.
Nicole does not seek revenge on Larry,
manages to forgive, accept and move on with
Francis seeks revenge and thus becomes filled
with negativity unable to move on. Cormier
enforces forgiveness to be a good thing.
When Nicole 'forgives' him Francis's
duffel bag becomes 'comfortable'
showing his burden of guilt has been