As Francis sits in the Albany train station, he ponders about what a hero really is. He sees the crowds of people, civilians and soldiers alike, and comes to a conclusion. Everyone he has known in war, from Enrico in the hospital to those in his platoon, are all heroes.
It is the man who stays to fight though fully aware of the horrors that is the hero. He thinks back to Arthur’s words about how everyone was like scared children and how those who never received medals are just as heroic as those who have.
He then ponders his life ahead and how he shall spend his life. He thinks about visiting Enrico and perhaps having his face fixed. He then ponders back to the gun in his duffel bag and heads towards the next train to leave the station, thinking of Nicole all the while.
Heroes is a 1998 novel written by Robert Cormier. The novel is centred on the character Francis Cassavant, who has just returned to his childhood home of Frenchtown, Monument, from serving in the Second World War in France and has severe deformities as a result of an incident during the war. The structure of the novel involves the use of flashbacks to Francis’s childhood in Frenchtown and the events in Frenchtown following the war, when Francis returns.