Heroes

Heroes Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Francis enters into a rare flashback to the time after his injury but before his return to Frenchtown. In this memory, he explains why he decided to wear his costume of the hat and the scarf to hide his deformities. As he tells it, he was on leave in London after his initial surgeries when he noticed that he was frightening passerby, especially children. Looking into a window to see his disfigured reflection for the first time, understanding the horror it inspired in others.
Much like Francis’ opening description of his wounds and his disguise, this moment of realization shows how the war threw Francis’ identity into flux. When he reveals that he was especially frightening to children, Francis distances himself from his own childhood, struggling with his association with the horrors of the “real” world.
Themes
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Back in Frenchtown, Francis stands in front of a mirror to assess his wounds, and while he admits that they have healed slightly, they still dominate his features. In his reflection, Francis no longer sees himself, but a stranger staring back at him.
Again, the mirror symbolizes how Francis’ appearance and his identity do not line up. While he has the appearance of a wounded veteran, he still sees himself as he was in his youth.
Themes
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Ultimately, Francis reminds himself that his wounds healing or not healing is a trivial matter since he plans to kill himself after he murders Larry. Until he accomplishes his last mission, he figures, the anonymity provided by his wounds and his costume can only help him. To fully commit to his murder-suicide pact, Francis destroys all the possible bridges to a better future by burning the phone number and address of Dr. Abrams’ plastic surgery clinic and the list of VA hospitals where his war buddy Enrico could be receiving treatment.
Here, Francis is literally removing any possibility of a future from his life. By choosing his quest for vengeance over the possibility of adapting to a new life after the war, Francis symbolically negates his new adulthood and fully commits to his misguided attempt to return to his childhood.
Themes
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon