IGCSE – FIRST DRAFT
*Carla Bouquet 3ème*7
*This is an extract taken from the book “HEROES” written by a famous author named Robert Cormier. It is located* at the beginning of the book, chapter 2, just after the return of Francis Cassavant, the protagonist, in Frenchtown, after the war had end. It is the first flashback in the novel, the author is describing the first meeting of Francis and a young girl named Nicole Renard, she is going to play a very important role in the destiny of the boy. The scene is taking place at school where a new student is coming in the class, Nicole, as soon as Francis met her eyes completely fall in love. Cormier give us a description of the girl and explain the “love at first sight” that the protagonist is having for her. We then learn about the first step of Nicole in Francis’s life and in their relationship. The author *m*entions the friendship that is growing between the young girl and Marie Lacroix, another girl of the class. Cormier used different metaphors, similes, hyperboles…and other types of techniques for that the readers can understand that the relationship between the two adolescent is going to be vital, and play a big role in the story of the novel. How does the author introduce Francis’s love for Nicole and how does he prepare the reader for the further episodes of that love story? This is the subject that is going to be analyze with the extract chosen.
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Robert Cormier use different types of techniques to make the flashback an important moment in the novel. As for example hyperbole, which explain the adoration that Francis is having for the girl he admires and loves. “The most beautiful girl I have ever seen” (pg 9, par. 3), this sentence is used the first time Francis met the eyes of Nicole Renard. This show us that the young boy is probably going to fall in love and that she is going to play an important role in the destiny of Francis and in the further episodes of the novel as the reader is having the impression that Nicole, as she is flying so high into her own world that the young boy just can’t get her and maybe would do anything for it. “Agony of love” (pg 10, par. 5), this expression is very characterizing of what Cormier wants the reader to feel. It shows that this love Francis is feeling for Nicole is so big that it is killing him. The word “agony” reminds the reader of a feeling of pain and that the young boy is suffering of it, and even more when, too shy, he can’t express it to her like for example in the second time the author use this expression: “I’d hear her footsteps fading away and I’d plunge into an agony of regret, vowing to talk to her the next time.”(pg 10-11) It shows us that Francis is completely in love and would anything to get her. The author is using the strong word “agony” so that he can introduce the love story and that the reader can start to guess that a complicated relationship is going to grow between the two young people, and by using a hyperbole, he is using a good way for that the reader can picture to himself the feelings of the characters.
Cormier also used metaphors and similes to introduce and explain the love story that is growing between Nicole and Francis and the young girl is strongly characterize by her purity, which is a point that the author is insisting on, he make the reader understand that it is going to play a role in her destiny. “The pale purity of her face reminded me of the statue of St Therese in the niche newt to Father Balthazar’s confessional in St Jude church”(pg 9,par. 4).
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The author use the metaphor of the statue, which is the perfect image to represent something untouchable and pure which are representing Nicole, in contrast of what is going to happen later in the story to the young girl, as she was wrapped by Larry LaSalle. This is totally contradictory to the clean and pure image of Nicole. This metaphor is also explaining the sentence that is used later by the author “Our eyes met and a flash of recognition passed between us…then the flash was gone and she was St Therese again” (pg 9-10) which is very representative of the message that Cormier want to pass to the readers because it shows a second of complicity between Nicole and Francis. It explain that during that second where their eyes met, the young girl show herself and how she really is, as she could feel that something is going to happen between them, to the protagonist. When the author says “and she was St Therese again” he wants to explains that that second of complicity was like a dream and was instantly stopping as if the world had stop during a second and was turning again after it and Nicole is again the untouchable girl she was.
Cormier uses another simile to represent the love story that is going to grow between the two characters:» and I knelt there like a knight at her feet, her sword having touch my shoulders”, the author use that image at the moment that was explain just above, just at the moment after the eyes of the two lovers had met when he was here on the floor wondering if that magic moment was real or just a wonderful dream. The word “knight” mean someone heroic, that would accomplish anything for her queen, which is representing Nicole, and that is nearly like “living for her”, it is used to prove all the love and all the devotion that Francis is keeping inside him for the young girl.