Essay On Richard Perry Fallen Angels

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Bertrand Russell once said, “War doesn’t determine who’s right, only who’s left.” The Vietnam War was one in particular where soldiers often struggled with who the enemy was. War is too often thought of as something to be won, but this novel reveals it is simply something to be survived, and the shell of a person that is left will not be the same one that walked into battle. That is a jarring reality very prominent in Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers. It is a lesson soldier Richard Perry learns all too well on his journey from innocent young boy to Vietnam veteran. Very early it is made clear that Perry is not just a new soldier, but is in a place that can and will change him forever. One of the earliest examples of this change is seen during and after the death of Private Jenkins. Myers writes, “There was a shard of metal protruding from Jenkins’ chest. The blood gurgled out of the wound it made and sprayed along the concave metallic surface” (41). The author uses descriptive words that create horrific images in our minds to convey the gruesome sight Perry must be seeing. Gore is a large part of war, and is a big…show more content…
The pacification missions his platoon goes on are one example of that war within his own mind. He states multiple times that he is bothered by the fact that they have to convince the villagers that the American soldiers are the good guys (112). Richie doesn’t truly know who the enemy is or if either side is “right”. He makes the comment, “The real question was what I was doing, what any of us were doing, in Nam” (69). It’s hard for Perry to fight when he doesn’t know what he’s fighting for. Another big issue for him is that this war involves such young people. Most of the soldiers are boys straight out of high school and children are involved, even put in direct danger. Perry even sees a very young child turned into a bomb (Ch. 17). That would change
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