Thursday, November 05, 2009

Heroes by Robert Cormier


-----Not a long read. 144 pages. Considered a young adult book. The book is about a young man named Francis who has just come back to his hometown after World War II. He is planning revenge on a person who was once his childhood hero....and may get away with it since no one recgonizes him due to an injury.
-----The idea of praying for one's enemies....but if Francis were truly praying for his enemies could he really be planning whatever revenge at the same time? When he did pray for his enemies....doesn't that he imply that he thinks his enemy could change?...or is he just praying that his enemy changes before he gets his revenge? I need to pray for whomever I consider an "enemy" more...I think many people probably don't do so at all.
-----The flashbacks that give info in a jerky manner at the beginning....I didn't like that. I also did not like the couple of times that info was given and then retracted.
-----Robert Cormier has been banned for inappropriate material on "social issues" in many schools. I can kind of see the reason why in this book....but banning everything willy-nilly just because violence/revenge is mentioned does not work either....violence and revenge really do get contemplated in the world. Now banning it because suicide is mentioned....that is a different story. If a person is well-adjusted though it is better for them to recgonize the emotions that really do bring people to suicide....perhaps they can learn from it or help someone else in a time of despair. Young adults have to learn about suicide sooner or later....so they are not floored the first time they encounter this in a book somewhere or in their own lives. I do not think such books should be banned...Cormier's book did not glamorize anything immoral....the reading of books with mature/real life themes that are extreme situations should be monitored when a young person is the reader.
-----Our heroes....many times don't feel like heroes to themselves. I have noticed that this is particularly true of war heroes.
-----Fred Astaire....admired by many.
-----The interactions don't really strike me as something out of the past....well maybe if written from the prospective of a young person. It does seem as if the conversations could be present day (if you substitute different movies and books).
-----Heroes do become Pied Pipers....and some misuse this ability.
-----"It's amazing that the heart makes no noise when it cracks."
-----Does one sin outweigh all the good things? This question has been posed of many who have reached some level of fame. It is a question that likely haunts many....but only becomes public discussion/crucifixion for the famous/notorious.
-----The final outcomes were a total surprise to me.
-----Sunlight being different in one place than another. I noticed this in Florida. I think this more has to do with how we percieve things. Or maybe the way the sun sits in the sky...for instance, I see the same kind of light that I have seen in Florida sometimes during sunrises.
-----Getting what one deserves....and the real heroes don't always get any of what they deserve.
-----Being confused as to what a hero is. Our society does that to us a lot.
-----I think it might have been a good ending....and maybe Francis character has just become more of a hero.
-----I have never known a perfect war hero. All of the war heroes I have known who survived to tell about wars were severely messed up emotionally. I think that wars or extreme situations often cause people to do things that are out of character....and it is often just "one sin."
-----I don't think that the person Francis is seeking revenge on realizes until the end that perhaps he had more than one sin. As to whether he could ever redeem himself....that is a confusing matter and I think that God is ultimately the one who decides that. This is the kind of debate that often comes up when people are facing the death penalty.
-----In this story someone does listen when injustices are brought to light....that is not always the case (no matter how vocal the victim or victims are).
-----Nicole and Francis act like Francis knew all along what was happening during the event that was the turning point of this story....the way this reads he did not fully conciously know. I think this issue should have been addressed.

I rate the book 4 out of 5 stars. It is really close to 5 stars. Cormier really made me think and I felt for the characters. I especially warmed up to the main character. This was not merely a story of seeking revenge...it was truly a look at how heroes are made,fall and sometimes are rebuilt.

:-)



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