Heroes

Heroes Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Against his better judgment, Francis sets out to visit the Wreck Center. However, he is intercepted on his way by fellow Frenchtown veteran and former baseball star Arthur Rivier. Struck with empathy for Francis, Arthur invites Francis into the St. Jude Club for a beer with the rest of the town’s veterans. Although he doesn’t protest, Francis hesitates slightly before he follows Arthur, since in his mind he is still underage.
Again, the war intrudes on Francis’s attempts to re-live his childhood, this time in the form of a fellow veteran. Against his will, Francis is brought to a bar — a much more adult destination than a recreation hall. Notably, the bar is named after the local church, again showing the banality of religion in Francis’ world.
Themes
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
In the club, Francis silently sips his beer while the other veterans discuss their plans now that the war is over. Some men express interest in becoming cops or firemen, or even returning to school on the GI Bill to become teachers. One veteran declares his desire to be a teacher since he himself had been a problem child in school, often on the wrong side of the nuns’ rulers. Despite the good-natured joking and conversation, Francis remains silent. As much as his wounds and his costume provoke interest in the other veterans, they all respect his silence, figuring that he has at the very least earned the right to privacy.
While the discussion seems cheerful and optimistic, the veterans noticeably avoid talking about the one thing that they all have in common: the war. The obvious omission leads to a certain uneasiness in them, as if they are trying to disguise their true feelings. Likewise, while the comment about the strict discipline of the local nuns seems humorous to the veterans, it further demonstrates the link between religion and violence in Frenchtown.
Themes
Religion Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
As the men return to the discussion of their future careers, Francis slips out of the bar unnoticed and heads towards the Wreck Center, his scarf and bandages disguising himself from the residents he sees along the way.
Here, Francis is literally running away from adulthood. The other veterans have plans for their futures, but Francis flees the conversation to hide in his childhood haunt, the Wreck Center.
Themes
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon