Francis Cassavant

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'The war is over and I have no face'
Francis seems very open and matter of fact about his injuries. He mentions them in the very first sentence of the book, which makes the reader feel sympathy for him, which leads them to know why he look like this.
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'Oh, I have eyes....but no ears to speak of, just bits of dangling flesh. But that's fine, like Dr Abrams says....he was joking of course'
The description of his physical looks creates a close bond between the reader and narrator. Also it creates sympathy for the reader and the reader is eager to know what happened to him
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'I thought of Nicole Renerad, realising I had not thought of her for, oh, maybe two hours'
Francis first mention Nicole, which suggests Francis may be in love with her.
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'Then I am filled with guilt and shame, knowing that I just prayed for the man I'm going to kill'
this statement creates dramatic tension, which makes Francis frequently feel guilty and the section emphathsises his religious feelings.
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'You're a bid hero, he said ( Dr Abraham). A Silver Star hero'
This is the first reference to being a hero in the novel, which leads the reader to ask questions of why Francis was award a 'Silver Star'.
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'I'm not a hero, of course, and I turn away in disgust'
Francis has low esteem as he does not believe he is a hero.
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'The most beautiful girl I had ever seen... The pale purity of her face reminded me of the statue of St Therese'
Francis' first description of Nicole, which alludes he is over exaggeration
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' I never knew love could be so agonising'
This is ironic as Francis love for Nicole does become agony.
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'I wondered whether she'd been waving at Joey LeBlanc or me'
This suggets that Francis lacks the confidence to believe that Nicole could be attracted to him.
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'The Great Gatsby which I'd heard was a great novel'
This alludes that Francis refers to a classic American literature, which this is the first mention of his interest in reading and writing.
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'Not like the war movies at the Plymouth, nobdy displaying heroic and bravado'
Francis repeats the idea that he wasn't heroic or brave, and 'the war movies' are just a fantasy.
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I explode into bursts of gunfire killed soldiers quickly, no exploding head, no body cut in two...I saw how young they were, boys with apple check, to young too shave, Like me'
Francis explains that his dream is more graphic than reality and he creates a link between himself and the German soldiers.
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' The next day, the grenade blows in my face'
the reader finally finds out what happened to Francis.
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'I wanted to be like them, these heroes, fighting the Japs and the Germans, going off to battles on land and sea'
Francis used to have a dream about going to war and was admired to be like one of the soliders, but later he learns that they weren't heroes they 'were just there'
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“It’s a bad luck place, people had said. A place of doom, others added”
The first description of the Wreck Centre suggests the tragedy that will take place there. The words are highlighted by being in single-sentence paragraphs.
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“He was most of all a teacher.”
As a teacher, Larry has a responsibility to all the children in his care. Larry is also described as an athlete and a dancer – everyone in Frenchtown is impressed by these qualities. Francis’s language shows his admiration for Larry
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“I had no best friend.”
Other than Nicole and Larry, Francis never really connects with anyone else. As a child he is a lone, which emphasises the tragedy of Nicole’s rejection and Larry’s betrayal.
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“I discovered Ernest Hemingway and Tom Wolfe and Jack London and rushed home with an armful of books.”
Francis shows his interest in literature. These writers are very masculine – their books are about adventure. Reading separates Francis from other people.
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“There were dark hints that he had ‘gotten into trouble’ in New York City… The air of mystery that surrounded him added to his glamour.”
This is the first hint that something is wrong with Larry in the flashback narrative. Francis uses the language of celebrity to characterise Larry’s appeal to the people.
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“She seemed to exist in a world of her own, like a rare specimen, bird-like and graceful, separate from the rest of the dancers.”
Francis describes Nicole using a simile and he suggests that she is unique.
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“Joey LeBlanc angered me when he said he could feel that old doom hanging over the place.”
Loops-back to the beginning of the chapter, when he talks about the Wreck Centre and reinforces the idea that something terrible is going to happen
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“Jealousy streaked through me as Larry LaSalle tossed her in the air… pressing her close, their faces almost touching, their lips only an inch or so from a kiss.”
Already, there is jealousy in the triangular relationship between Larry, Francis and Nicole.
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“Her words filled me with both delight and agony, delight at her invitation and the instant agony of jealousy, the way she had casually said his name… ‘Larry’, spoken off- hand as if they were more than teacher and pupil.”
This suggests to the reader that he is jealous because Nicole is close to Larry.
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“My eyes sought Nicole, found her joyous face, hands joined together, as if in prayer, eyes half-closed as if making herself an offering to me'
Francis gains confidence from beating Larry and he describes Nicole using religious imagery, which he makes her into an idol
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“The scared war… God, but I was scared, Francis.”
Arthur remembers the terror he felt and he describes a war that Francis can relate to, which Francis was also terrified.
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“No heroes in that scrap-book, Francis. Only us, the boys of Frenchtown. Scared and homesick and cramps in the stomach and vomit. Nothing glamorous like the write-ups in the papers or the newsreels. We weren’t heroes. We were only there…”
Arthur describes the reality of war in graphic details, whichmakes the reader feel sympathy for the people who went to war.
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“When I study myself in the mirror, I don’t see me any more but a stranger slowly taking shape.”
The war has changed Francis as a person, he is gradually becoming someone new, which this transformation symbolises what has happened to Francis
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“The truth is that I don’t care whether I heal or not. Because I know that it doesn’t matter.”
Francis has lost all his hope and he is not asking the reader for sympathy, as he no longer cares about himself.
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‘a small boy ... peeking at me again with one big eye ,before bursting in to tears.
It is a vivid image as the verb 'peeking' implies the boy is scared of him
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“I knew what he meant by disposal because I had planned my own method after my mission was completed.”
Francis implies that after killing Larry he will kill himself and he appears to be committed to ending his own life
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“Lt. Lawrence LaSalle… holder of the Silver Star for acts of heroism… was coming home on furlough.”
The introduction to this chapter builds up anticipation. This is the turning point in the novel, as Francis deliberately emphasises Larry’s heroic qualities in order to show how evil his actions are at the end of the chapter, which dramatic tension i
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“Fred Astaire still in his walk but something different about him. His slenderness was knife-like now, lethal.”
The movie-star image is contrasted with violence, which Francis implies that he is dangerous.
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“Larry was our hero, yes, but he had been a hero to us long before he went to war.”
Francis reminds us that Larry is admired by everyone in Frenchtown.This helps to reinforce his unforgivable behaviour towards Nicole later in the chapter.
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“His eyes moved to Nicole and I saw the rush of affection on his face.”
There is a sexual chemistry between Nicole and Larry,which gives the reader a sense of suspicion towards Lasalle.
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'I’m glad to be home, even if it’s only for a little while. And most of all I want to be with the Wreck Centre gang.’
Shows he misses the children and frenchtown which makes the reader think that lasalle is a loving person, however makes the reader feel suspicious about the fact that a grown-up wants to spend his time with children
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‘I’ll buy you one like that someday,’ I whispered in her ear, my voice trembling a bit, betraying my love for her. Squeezing my hand, she leaned towards me and her warm cheek rested against mine.”
Francis is describing the perfect evening between them both.He indicates that he wants to be with her forever as when Nicole is ‘pointing to a woman in a simple white gown’, This emphasises the tragedy of this chapter.
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 ‘I’ll never leave you.’ (when nicloe says to him ‘Stay close to me,’)
This is a lie – Francis leaves her at the worst possible moment, as Francis is telling the story, which he realise how ironic this promise is, as it helps to build dramatic tension.
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“I really wanted to stay, wanted to be a part of them.”
Reminds the reader that Francis has never been intimate with anyone, which suggests his suspicion that something is wrong. This is echoed by Nicole, who doesn’t want him to leave.
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“How long did I stand there listening?... I couldn’t breathe, my body rigid, my lungs burning… What were they doing?”
Francis’s description suggests he knows what they were doing. Rhetorical questions suggest he knows the answer but still can’t face the truth and he is terrified of the truth because he has done nothing, which makes him feel guilty.
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“But I knew what they were doing – the thought streaked through my mind so fast it could hardly be acknowledged.”
Francis is forced to admit the truth to the reader.
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‘a whimpering, like a small animal caught and trapped, moaning distinct now’
Francis describes Nicole's Renard ****, as she is being hurt.
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'White blouse torn'
Nicole 'blouse' is associated with purity
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“I recognised in her eyes what I could not deny: betrayal. My betrayal of her in her eyes.”
Francis feels ashamed because he did not stop Larry from hurting Nicole and He believes that she blames him, which the repetition emphasises this.
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It’s amazing that the heart makes no noise when it cracks.”
The chapter ends with a dramatic image, which this leads contrasts with how Francis had been feeling throughout the chapter.
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“A kind of bogey man who does terrible things like letting his girl get hurt and attacked, purposely avoiding in my mind that terrible word: what had actually happened to her.”
Francis feels guilt and blames himself. He chooses to ignore that which causes him most pain.
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“I could not sleep at night… glad for the heat that was so relentless, as if it was part of the hell that I had earned.”
Francis blames himself rather than Larry and does this by punishing himself, using religious imagery of suffering and purgatory.
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“Saying a prayer before committing the worst sin of all: despair… I thought of my mother and father – could I disgrace their name this way?”
Suicide is absolutely the worst sin that a Catholic can commit and Francis is ashamed at the thought of letting his parents down.
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“I always thought I would spot Larry LaSalle on Third Street, would see him striding along like Fred Astaire, bestowing that movie-star smile on people that he met.”
Francis reminds us of how fake Larry is by repeating the movie-star image and There is no sense of admiration in the way he says this.
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“I have heard enough. Larry LaSalle has returned to Frenchtown. And I know where to find him.”
Use of short simple sentence, which crates a rhythm for the reader as it makes the text more interesting to read as it builds up dramatic tension.
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“The gun is like a tumour on my thigh.”
This is a similie, which alludes that Francis feels what he is about to do is wrong.
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I don’t move. I don’t take off anything. I don’t plan to stay long’
Shows he doesn't take any actions
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“A deep sadness settles on me, as if winter has invaded my bones.”
This is a simile as he uses military imagery.
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“Why did it have to turn out like this?....Maybe your sins catching up with you.”
The italics represent Francis’s inner voice and The italics represent Francis’s inner voice.
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“I had always wanted to be a hero, like Larry LaSalle, but had been a fake all along. And now I am tired of the deception and have to rid myself of the fakery.”
Francis views his actions as a fraud, as he believes he is not really a hero, however This quote shows that he has realised Larry is a fake.
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“‘I went to war because I wanted to die’
Francis’s explanation twists his feelings into self-accusation, as he made a confession of why he went to war.
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''I wonder if it’s a special sin to lie to a nun.”
Francis lies about his intentions and He is obsessed with the idea of ‘sin’ which it is a religious imagery.
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“To see if maybe you could still be my girl. Which would maybe change my mind about the gun in my duffel bag.”
This is Francis’s hope – that he and Nicole could still be together and if they are not together, he will kill himself, symbolising that he is romantic and he still admires her.
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‘hero. The word hangs in the air’
This suggests that doesn't believe he is a hero
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‘I cross the lobby, heading for the exit and the next train to leave the station.’
decides to forget his past and thinks to begin his new life. That journey represents him building up his future by returning to his ambitions to be a writer.
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the adjective ‘flinched’
describes his finger that he is hesitating and has a feeling something bad is going to happen.
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Card 2


The description of his physical looks creates a close bond between the reader and narrator. Also it creates sympathy for the reader and the reader is eager to know what happened to him


'Oh, I have eyes....but no ears to speak of, just bits of dangling flesh. But that's fine, like Dr Abrams says....he was joking of course'

Card 3


Francis first mention Nicole, which suggests Francis may be in love with her.


Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4


this statement creates dramatic tension, which makes Francis frequently feel guilty and the section emphathsises his religious feelings.


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


This is the first reference to being a hero in the novel, which leads the reader to ask questions of why Francis was award a 'Silver Star'.


Preview of the back of card 5
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