Fallen Angels Analysis

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English 716 15 February 2008 Fallen Angels “We were lined up, waiting to get on the plane. The line wasn’t that rigid. Half the guys were on crutches or in some kinds of bandages. We all talked nervously, not looking at the stack of silver caskets that were being loaded on” (Myers 306). Those images never entered Richard Perry’s mind when he entered the war in Vietnam in Walter Dean Myers novel Fallen Angels. This novel is a “riveting account of the Vietnam War from the perspective of a young black soldier. Richard Perry, a 17 year old from Harlem arrives in Vietnam in 1967” (Salvadore 1), as said by Maria B. Salvadore in her “School Library Journal Review” of Fallen Angels. Once Perry arrives in Vietnam he is thrust into battle very soon. He gets injured a couple of times, but more damage is done mentally than physically. He witnesses many deaths, and other brutal happenings, but eventually returns home in one piece. During it all, it becomes blindingly evident that war, though sometimes glorified, is never easy or what it seems. Throughout his time in Vietnam, about a year (1967-1968), Perry is exposed to some very unbeneficial territory. At night, mosquitoes constantly bit the soldiers and they had to take pills everyday to prevent mosquito transmitted diseases. So, in order to combat such things, each soldier had to put a mosquito net over his bed. Also, each camp ran rampant with rats and other vermin. At one point, a mate of Richard’s had to smash a rat with a book of his, and Perry said it was “the biggest rat he’s ever seen”. On top of all that, there were bigger pest problems. While Perry was waiting to attack some VC (Vietcong, the name of the enemy Vietnamese soldiers), he felt something on his wrist and freaked out. He almost yelled, and he thought a VC had put a finger on him. He soon realized, however, that it was just a leech. He then had to

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