Heroes

Larry LaSalle Character Analysis

Larry, a young war veteran from Francis’s hometown, is the novel’s antagonist. Athletic, graceful, and charismatic, Larry is a hero in the lives of the children of Monument; he is a source of entertainment and encouragement (as he runs the local recreation center, known as the Wreck Center), and he’s also proof that even someone from their sleepy town can become a success. Despite outwardly framing his decision to enlist in the army as fulfilling his patriotic duty, Larry goes to war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor looking for revenge, betraying a penchant for violence under his “movie star” exterior. While on furlough, his cruelty comes home when rapes Nicole Renard in the Wreck Center while a terrified Francis stands in the shadows. When confronted by a vengeful Francis, Larry seems defeated and haunted by his past, and he ultimately talks Francis out of committing murder with the promise that he will commit suicide instead. Whether Larry is succumbing to his feelings of guilt and despair or lifting up his former pupil one last time by making Francis “better than he is,” his suicide concludes the cycle of violence he started when he raped Nicole.

Larry LaSalle Quotes in Heroes

The Heroes quotes below are all either spoken by Larry LaSalle or refer to Larry LaSalle. 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 1 Quotes

So I offer up an Our Father and Hail Mary and Glory Be for Larry LaSalle. Then I am filled with guilt and shame, knowing that I have just prayed for the man I am going to kill.

Related Characters: Francis Cassavant (speaker), Larry LaSalle
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 5 Quotes

Dazzled by his talent and his energy, most of us didn't dwell on the rumors. In fact, the air of mystery that surrounded him added to his glamour. He was our champion, and we were happy to be in his presence.

Related Characters: Francis Cassavant (speaker), Larry LaSalle
Related Symbols: The Wreck Center
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

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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:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 7 Quotes

Like a dream coming true, Nicole took the trophy from Larry LaSalle and handed it to me, the radiance of her face mirroring my own. The crowd grew silent as I pressed the trophy to my chest, my eyes becoming moist

Related Characters: Francis Cassavant (speaker), Larry LaSalle, Nicole Renard
Page Number: 64-65
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 9 Quotes

Larry LaSalle stood before us that afternoon at the Wreck Center, the movie star smile gone, replaced by grim-faced determination. "We can't let the Japs get away with this," he said, anger that we had never seen before flashing in his eyes. As we were about to cheer his announcement, he held up his hand. "None of that, kids, I'm just doing what millions of others are doing."

Related Characters: Larry LaSalle (speaker), Francis Cassavant, Nicole Renard, Joey LeBlanc
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 11 Quotes

We always did what Larry LaSalle told us to do. Always carried out his slightest wish…I saw Larry raising his eyebrows at me, the way he looked at me when I made a stupid move at table tennis.

Related Characters: Francis Cassavant (speaker), Larry LaSalle, Nicole Renard
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 14 Quotes

I am calm. My heartbeat is normal. What's one more death after the others in the villages and fields of France? The innocent faces of the two young Germans appear in my mind. But Larry LaSalle is not innocent.

Related Characters: Francis Cassavant (speaker), Larry LaSalle
Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:

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I had always wanted to be a hero like Larry LaSalle and all the others, but have been a fake all along. And now I am tired of the deception and have to rid myself of the fakery. I look away from him, out the window at the sun-splashed street. "I'm not a hero” I tell him.

Related Characters: Francis Cassavant (speaker), Larry LaSalle
Page Number: 112
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Everybody sins, Francis. The terrible thing is that we love our sins. We love the thing that makes us evil

Related Characters: Larry LaSalle (speaker), Francis Cassavant, Nicole Renard
Page Number: 115
Explanation and Analysis:

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Downstairs, at last, after what seems like a long, long time, I pause at the outside door. The sound of a pistol shot cracks the air. My hand is on the doorknob. The sound from this distance is almost like that of a Ping-Pong ball striking the table.

Related Characters: Francis Cassavant (speaker), Larry LaSalle
Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Larry LaSalle Character Timeline in Heroes

The timeline below shows where the character Larry LaSalle appears in Heroes. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...Raymond, Nicole Renard, and finally he fights back his feelings of guilt and prays for Larry LaSalle, the man he intends to murder. (full context)
Chapter 3
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...all mixed together, Francis steels himself with the thought of his current mission to murder Larry LaSalle. (full context)
Chapter 5
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
After the renovations were completed, Larry LaSalle appeared in Frenchtown to take control of the Wreck Center, taking on pupils in... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
...in the summer, Nicole began to participate in the dance classes at the Wreck Center. Larry’s star pupil, she easily stood out from the rest of the dancers, further captivating Francis’... (full context)
Chapter 6
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
...scarf, and his hat. Accustomed now to this pleasant familiarity, Francis is still impatient for Larry’s return. He carries his pistol around in his duffle bag everywhere he goes, constantly prepared... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Hoping to hear information about Larry, Francis continues to frequent the St. Jude Club. Although he never joins in on the... (full context)
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...the young men of Frenchtown who had served in the war, including the announcement that Larry had earned the Silver Star for his bravery in combat. With a somber tone, the... (full context)
Chapter 7
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Francis begins another childhood flashback with the day that Larry saw him dejectedly sitting on the back steps of the Wreck Center. When Larry inquires... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Wanting to help Francis, Larry convinces him to return to the Wreck Center the following day to start lessons in... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
At the end of the first lesson, Larry convinces Francis to stick with Ping-Pong, giving him a new sense of purpose at the... (full context)
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...begins to notice how Nicole is not only a beautiful dancer, but her routines with Larry are becoming more intensely sensual. Eventually, Larry announces that the Wreck Center will host a... (full context)
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...begins to savor his moment of victory, Joey LeBlanc calls out for Francis to challenge Larry for the “real championship.” The crowd agrees, chanting along until Francis, riding the wave of... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Halfway through the game, Francis realizes that Larry had been letting him win. At the last point, Francis grows hesitant, unsure if Larry... (full context)
Chapter 9
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Francis picks up his childhood flashback with the day Larry announces his decision to enlist in the Marines to get back at the Japanese for... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
Starting with the closing of the Wreck Center in Larry’s absence, Francis begins to recount some of the major changes to Frenchtown during the war:... (full context)
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...patriotic “war songs.” It is here at the drugstore that a breathless Nicole announces that Larry has been awarded the Silver Star, news that is later carried to the rest of... (full context)
Chapter 10
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Chapter 11
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Francis resumes his childhood flashback with his most painful memory of all: Larry’s return from the war after being awarded the Silver Star. Initially, though, Francis and the... (full context)
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
While Larry still has the touch of movie star grace that he had before the war, Francis... (full context)
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...cuts through the crowd to announce a big celebration at City Hall in honor of Larry. Larry responds with gratitude, also announcing to the crowd how thrilled he was to be... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
At the celebration, Larry eventually gathers his crew and together they discreetly slip out of the party, carousing through... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Since all the others have left, Larry asks Nicole to go put on “Dancing in the Dark:” the song the two had... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
As Francis draws near the exit, Larry flicks off the lights, and Francis suddenly decides he cannot fully abandon his sweetheart, hiding... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Larry, unaware that Francis had witnessed his horrendous crime, leaves the Wreck Center, casually whistling “Dancing... (full context)
Chapter 12
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
...to inquire with serious if Francis is the boogeyman. Meanwhile, rumors abound as to why Larry suddenly left Frenchtown after only a few days on furlough. (full context)
Chapter 13
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Back in the present, Francis learns through eavesdropping on his landlady and her neighbor that Larry has finally returned to Frenchtown. While he imagined he would make this discovery in a... (full context)
Chapter 14
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Standing in front of Larry’s apartment building with his gun in his pocket, Francis readies himself to murder his former... (full context)
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Francis knocks on Larry’s door, entering as Larry calls out from within. Larry, sitting in a rocking chair, stares... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Francis, however, remains standing as Larry begins to reminisce about their Wreck Center glory days, his old “movie star smile” flitting... (full context)
Religion Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Quickly though, Larry snaps back to reality, rubbing his stiff legs and remarking to Francis that not all... (full context)
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Moving the conversation back to Francis, Larry brings up Francis’ own Silver Star, remarking that he went into the war a child... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Confused, Larry asks Francis why he had wanted to die so badly. Realizing in that instance that... (full context)
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Larry, ever the smooth talker, begins to comfort Francis, telling him that there was nothing he... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Tired of the dramatics, Larry asks Francis why he really came to visit. In response, Francis draws his pistol, and... (full context)
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Unfazed by the gun in his face, Larry tells Francis that he couldn’t resist “sweet young things,” that “everybody sins” yet they love... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Once again, Francis simply replies that Larry should be asking Nicole, not him. As he stares down the barrel of the gun... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Still unfazed by the gun aimed at him, Larry becomes dismissive, explaining to Francis how he has all but lost his legs to the... (full context)
Religion Theme Icon
Impatient at last, Francis tells Larry to say his prayers and takes aim at his heart. Larry, however, cries out “wait”... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
With an air of seriousness, Larry begins to explain to Francis that he too has a pistol, one that he often... (full context)
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Begging now, Larry pleads with Francis to put down his gun, saying that he wasn’t a cold-blooded murderer... (full context)
Chapter 16
The Simplicity of Childhood Theme Icon
Flawed Heroes Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...window at a tennis match, Francis tentatively asks if Nicole had heard the news of Larry’s suicide. Nicole replies that yes, she had already heard, and cuts off Francis as he... (full context)