Fallen Angels Character Analysis

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While “honor” and “self-realization” may be ideological terms often associated with a war cause, “brutality” and “self-scarification” are perhaps more realistic descriptors. The brutal and ferocious atmosphere of war often forces its young soldier constituencies to sacrifice any childish views of life, and mature. Walter Dean Myer’s novel, Fallen Angels, details the tragic loss of innocence of group of young soldiers who, surrounded by the unspeakable horrors of the Vietnam War, are forced to prematurely journey into manhood. Though initially and wholly innocent, the tense atmosphere of war forces Richie Perry and his fellow soldiers to leave behind former romantic views of war and realize its moral ambiguity. A truly unfortunate byproduct…show more content…
Richie expects the army to be organized and structured, and active combats to be glorious. Unfortunately, as they later realize, the romantic expectations of war of Richie and his fellow enlistees are not met in Vietnam: “We spent another day lying around. It seemed to be what the war was about. Hours of boredom, seconds of terror” (132). While missions certainly beget terror, the missions are extremely short and sporadic. Instead of fighting honorably and helping Vietnamese civilians in need, Perry and his fellow soldiers find themselves waiting for the next sneak attack, gripped with anxiety. Plagued with this anxiousness about the next attack, the soldiers often wait weeks in complete paranoia. Originally confident and expectant that glorious combats would fill them up with a sense of self worth, Perry and the young soldiers actually feel let down, disgruntled and paranoid. In addition, further negating their romantic views of war, Richie, Peewee, and the others find the army and active combat to be disorganized, completely inefficient and completely feeble; disillusioned by the concept of war, the young soldiers begin realize that perhaps war was not as glorious as they hoped it to be. Without a clear cause for engaging in violent warfare, the young soldiers lose former innocence and their once romantic ideals of are
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