Heroes

Arthur Rivier Character Analysis

Arthur is one of the Frenchtown veterans who frequents the St. Jude Club. He is the only patron to recognize Francis through his wounds and fake identity. He is also one of the only characters besides Francis who will acknowledge the traumatic nature of the war, usually only when drunk. Inebriation aside, he is the first character besides Francis to admit that there were not heroes in World War II, only scared children in soldiers’ uniforms. Before the war, Rivier played first base for the Frenchtown Tigers.

Arthur Rivier Quotes in Heroes

The Heroes quotes below are all either spoken by Arthur Rivier or refer to Arthur Rivier. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of Heroes published in 2009.
Chapter 6 Quotes

"There are lots of medals," the big bartender croaks, "for outstanding service, but only the Silver Star is for heroism." His old voice is suddenly formal and dignified. "For gallantry."

Related Characters: The Strangler (speaker), Francis Cassavant, Larry LaSalle, Arthur Rivier
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 8 Quotes

"Heroes," he scoffs, his voice sharp and bitter, all signs of drunkenness gone. "We weren't heroes. The Strangler and his scrapbook. No heroes in that scrapbook, Francis. Only us, the boys of Frenchtown. Scared and homesick and cramps in the stomach and vomit. Nothing glamorous like the write-ups in the papers or the newsreels. We weren't heroes. We were only there…

Related Characters: Arthur Rivier (speaker), Francis Cassavant, The Strangler
Page Number: 71
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 17 Quotes

I remember what I said to Nicole about not knowing who the real heroes are and I think of my old platoon…I think of Enrico, minus his legs, his arm. I think of Arthur Rivier, drunk and mournful that night in the alley. We were only there. Scared kids, not born to fight and kill. Who were not only there but who stayed, did not run away, fought the good war. And never talk about it. And didn't receive a Silver Star. But heroes, anyway. The real heroes.

Related Characters: Francis Cassavant (speaker), Arthur Rivier, Enrico Rucelli
Page Number: 134
Explanation and Analysis:
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Arthur Rivier Character Timeline in Heroes

The timeline below shows where the character Arthur Rivier appears in Heroes. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Chapter 6
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Spurred to emotion by Francis’ sudden question, Arthur leads a toast to “the patron saint of the Wreck Center.” Then, the Strangler, the... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
In the midst of the toasts and reminiscing, Arthur leans in close to Francis and tells him that he recognizes Francis’s voice. Francis admits,... (full context)
Chapter 8
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Back in the present, Francis is restlessly wandering the streets at night when he encounters Arthur Rivier drunk and slumped over in an alley outside the St. Jude Club. As Francis... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Helping him to his feet, Francis asks Arthur what he means, and Arthur enters a brief moment of lucidity. Confiding in Francis, he... (full context)
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Before the other veterans reach Francis and Arthur, Arthur has fallen asleep. Whispering “poor Arthur,” the veterans pick up their drunken comrade, unaware... (full context)
Chapter 17
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...had known: the men in his platoon that had lived, those that had died, Enrico, Arthur Rivier. He remembers then, Arthur’s drunken proclamation about the war: “we were only there,” scared... (full context)