Fallen Angels Themes

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Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers, is a book portraying a young man named Richard Perry, who is only 17, which takes place in 1967 in Vietnam. After graduating high school and rendering the army a better choice than college, Perry leaves his mother and brother, Kenny, behind in New York. Upon his arrival, Perry meets a boy named Peewee who is also eager to see some action. However, when they are thrust into the Vietnam war, Perry quickly losses his naïve perspective. Through loss, new found friendship, and heroism, Perry spent one year of active duty struggling to survive in the midst of the Vietnam War. The most prominent theme in Fallen Angels is the “loss of innocence.” Before being drafted or voluntarily joining the army, many of the soldiers were barely 20 years old. For example, Peewee’s life goals were to drink wine from a corked bottle, make love to a foreign woman,…show more content…
Friendship compels them to achieve incredible acts of bravery, such as running through fire to help a wounded soldier or stay behind to allow others to reach safety. Another example of the bond the soldiers shared was when they were told they either had to split up or go on harder missions as a whole. The squad chose to stay together because they were willing to face greater risks rather than smaller ones separately. Heroism is also a symbol presented in Fallen Angels. When Perry is given the option to return to the United States early because of his medical profile, he declines. Perry knew that without him, the squad would be one man short; therefore, he risked his life in order to protect his friends. Another man who displayed heroism was Lieutenant Carroll. A squad member named Brew described a firefight where Lieutenant Carroll risked his life to save the entire squad. He said, “When the chips were down, he put his ass on the line for the guys” (Myers
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