Heroes Robert Cormier Atmosphere and Mood
Francis has entered LaSalle’s tenement with the intentions of killing LaSalle. Francis is very quick to declare the reason for his presence at Larry’s tenement. Ever since Francis came back from the war, killing Larry is all Francis has wanted to accomplish. ‘Say your prayers… I rehearsed those words so many times through the years.’ Straight away we see this sense of determination within Francis. Francis has been ‘rehearsing’ this moment ever since Larry raped Nicole. He’s been waiting for LaSalle’s return to Frenchtown for ‘years’ so that he can seek revenge. Here Cormier creates a sense of violence and tension. ‘I’ve decided to aim for the heart’ Francis’ thoughts towards Larry are quite violent and he wishes to ‘shatter his heart the way he broke Nicole’s’. Francis wants nothing but revenge and intends to attain it. Cormier’s use of Similes is very clever. Francis wants to do physically what Larry did to them mentally. Despite Larry’s horrific character, he knows Francis very well. Larry knows that no matter how angry Francis is, he will never be able to physically murder someone.
Larry ‘withdraws a pistol’ knowing that Francis won’t be able to fulfil his ‘mission’. The pistol was a ‘relic from the war’; it seems as if everything bad that happened in Francis’ life lies right there in that tenement. ‘Leave me here, leaver everything here… leave it all behind with me’ We can see how quickly the mood changes, from Francis’ violent words to Larry’s words of comfort. Francis ‘suddenly wants go get out of there’ he wants no part in Larry anymore and the ‘aroma of the soup is sickening and the tenement is too warm.’ Cormier creates a rather nauseating atmosphere; Larry’s tenement is a place no one would want to be in. ‘The sound of a pistol cracks the air.’ The theme of innocence runs throughout the whole book, just like the world innocence was shattered by the war and Nicoles innocence was shattered by Larry, Frenchtown is now also shattered by a ‘pistol shot’ cracking the air.