The essay sample on Francis Cassavant dwells on its problems, providing shortened but comprehensive overview of basic facts and arguments related to it. To read the essay, scroll down.
The war is over and Francis has returned home. He is glad to be home. Even in the horrible state he is in. He has eyes because he can see and eardrums because he can hear but his ears are just bits of dangling flesh. The thing that bothers Francis the most is his nose. His nostrils are caves dug into the middle of his head. He has no eyebrows and his cheeks are pieces of skin grafted from his thighs. He has been having nightmares, he is in a small alleyway automatic in his hand, and suddenly two German soldiers appear in white uniforms their rifles come up but Francis’s automatic is to fast.
Francis is not over the war as he has been having nightmares ever since, “the head of one of the soldier explodes like a ripe tomato and the other cries Mama as my gunfire cuts him in half, both halves tumbling to the ground. ” Francis wakes drenched in sweat, gasping. Francis is a mess. Francis is wearing a scarf that covers the lower part of his face. There is a Red Sox cap on the top of his head, tilted forward so that the visor keeps the upper part of his face covered. A bandage is rapped around his head covering the space where his nose was.
Larry Lasalle Quotes
The old army fatigue jacket covers his torso and half way down his legs. He doesn’t want to be noticed. “I walk with my head down as if I have lost money on the sidewalk and am looking for it. ” This tells us that he is low on self-esteem. Francis has plenty of money. He received back pay when he was discharged from Fort Delta. He keeps his money in cash, stashed in his duffel bag slung over his shoulder. ” He is staying in the attic tenement in Mrs Belander’s three-decker on Third Street. He is staying with someone who he used to know this suggest that he is curious about his old friends.
As Francis drops the duffel bag onto his bed he remembers of the gun stored at the bottom and thinks of his mission and knows it is about to begin. Going to a religious school may have made Francis more religious. “I pray for the souls of my mother and father. ” Later that day he is in the St Jude’s Church, kneeling at the communion rail he says his prays. He prays for the souls of his mother and father and Uncle Louis and of course he prays for Nicole Renard and finally he prays for Larry LaSalle the man he is about to kill.
At this present stage of Francis’s life he is very low on self-esteem and he doesn’t want to be noticed, “I walk with my head down as if I have lost money on the sidewalk and am looking for it. ” Francis is not over the war as he has been having nightmares ever since, “the head of one of the soldier explodes like a ripe tomato and the other cries Mama as my gunfire cuts him in half, both halves tumbling to the ground. ” He also is looking for revenge with Larry LaSalle, ” the man I am going to kill”. Francis was in the 7th grade and was going to St Jude’s Parochial School when he first saw Nicole.
Nicole was small and slender with shinning black hair and pale skin. Francis thought she looked beautiful. It was love at first sight for him. He was in ore of Nicole. Nicole was the main influence on his life at this point of his life everything he thought revolved around Nicole. Nicole became friends wit Marie LaCroix who lived above Francis so he waited for her day after day and tried to say something to her each time she walked past him, but he never could. After she walked buy and Francis stayed silent he’d vow to talk the next time. I’d plunge into agony of regret, vowing to talk to her the next time.
” The Frenchtown Recreation Centre was being refurbished when Francis was in 7th grade (year 8). The night it was finished someone crossed out the word on the sign and wrote Wreck Centre. The Wreck Centre opened its doors the day after St Jude’s Parochial School closed for the summer holidays. Francis first met Larry LaSalle that morning when the wreck centre opened. Larry was standing in front of the centre with all the children around him. Larry was a tall slim man with short blonde hair.
Larry LaSalle was in charge of the Wreck Centre he taught the children arts and crafts but he also gave them training in sports. “Pied piper to the children of Frenchtown. ” Larry was a mentor to all the children who went. He made them better than they really were. “But most of all he was a teacher to them. ” Francis spent all his free time at the Wreck Centre in his 7th and 8th grades, although he wasn’t very good at any of the activities. Finally Francis joined callisthenics after Larry LaSalle made a speech urging people to participate in at least one activity.
The wreck centre changed Francis’s life forever. This is where the main events of his life will be. Larry finds the perfect sport for Francis, table tennis. Larry trains him well and Francis is a natural. Meanwhile Nicole has been taking ballet. Larry organises a table tennis tournament and a ballet show for the weekend. He wants Francis to be the table tennis champion on Saturday and Nicole to be the star of the show on Sunday. Francis wins the tournament, but the crowd cheer for a match of Francis against Larry. They play and Larry lets Francis win without anyone knowing but Francis.
Nicole presents Francis with the trophy and he feels so confident. “For the first time in my life a tide of confidence swept through me. ” The next day pearl harbour gets bombed. Larry LaSalle was one of the first to enlist in the army. Larry’s enlistment causes the Wreck Centre to close. The closure of the Wreck Centre gives the opportunity to ask Nicole out to the cinema to his great delight she accepts. The relationship between Francis and Nicole is very strong. They are as much in love as it is possible to be at the age that they are.
Months pass and finally Larry returns home after fighting in the war. Larry hadn’t changed much during the time he spent fighting for his country but he appearance has changed. “His slenderness was knife-like now. ” There is a party in the Wreck Centre and Larry and Francis play table tennis for hours until finally Larry says it is time for Francis to go home so he and Nicole can have one finally dance. Francis reaches the front door but holds back to watch, the song ends but he hears a moan and a rustle of clothing and watches as Larry LaSalle, the hero of Frenchtown rapes Nicole. A whimpering, like a small animal caught and trapped moaning distinct now. ” Larry walks out not noticing Francis as he shrunk into the shadows but as Nicole leaves she sees Francis and new he’d watched what Larry had done to her and done nothing. “It is amazing that the heart makes no noise when it cracks. ” Francis believes his life is over. Three days later when he finally talks to Nicole she tells him to go away. “Poor Francis, go away Francis. Just go away. ” Francis climbs up the church steeple and ponders on the thought of suicide but decides not kill himself there and then.
Firstly because it would be cowardly to kill himself in this way when soldiers were dying honourably in battlefields all over the world. Secondly he did not want to disgrace the thought of his mother and father. He cannot forgive himself for not helping Nicole. So the next afternoon he boarded the bus to Fort Delta. In his pocket a fake birth certificate. Francis feels there is no forgiveness for deserting Nicole when she needed him the most, this is why he is intent on killing himself or letting himself get killed.
Weeks had passed and there was no sign of Larry LaSalle, until Francis walked back from another round of roaming the Frenchtown streets when he heard in a very harsh French from Mrs Belander porch that Larry LaSalle had returned home and was living in the green house on the corner. Francis had got him. Francis knocks on the door, Larry calls from inside. ‘Come in the doors not locked. ‘ Francis comes in and sees Larry sitting in a rocking chair by the stove. Francis announces himself. They talk about old times for a bit but finally Francis pulls out the gun.
He tells Larry about seeing what he did to Nicole. Larry talks about “the sweet young things” which suggests he has done this to other girls too. Finally Larry pulls out his own gun and tells Francis that he would not have been able to kill Larry in cold blood. Larry is still trying to make him better than he really is. “You would have fallen on that grenade, anyway. All your instincts would have made you sacrifice yourself for your comrades. ” Francis leaves; when he is downstairs he hears the gunshot and knows Larry LaSalle is dead. His mission was complete.
We will never find out if Francis would have been able to kill Larry in cold blood. Francis finds Nicole they talk about the rape and how he enlisted into the army and why. They don’t talk for long but Francis is no longer timid around her. “For once in my life I am not timid with her. ” He has overcome his shyness around her. They say goodbye and Francis departs never to see her again. Francis’s character changes dramatically throughout the course of his life. It does so because of Nicole and Larry mainly and the way they treat him change the way he is and the person he is.