Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers is about a young black male named Riche Perry from Harlem who enlists in the Vietnam war to try to help his single mother with bills. But due to misfiling he is sent into combat which he is not mentally ready for and does heavy soul searching into the meaning of life and why he is here. The story takes place in Vietnam several months between 1967 and 1968 during the Vietnam war at an American base at Chu Lai in South Vietnam. The narrator of the story is Richie Perry. Richie struggles to come to terms with the grim reality of war, which contradicts the myths about war that he believed going into it.
Richie Perry is the lead character in Fallen Angels. He is a 17 year old high school graduate who just enlisted in the army to help his alcoholic mother, who lives in the slums of Harlem, with their family and bills. When Richie first arrives in Vietnam he is lost and confused about himself, his life, and can’t grasp the brutal reality of war. He meets many new people in the army and is well acknowledged by his squad. His intellect, curiosity, and soul searching questions he asks himself are noticed by the squad and he becomes the unofficial therapist for the squad. Without knowing it Richie begins to mature by asking these kind of questions and tries to understand the carnage of war and why he’s there. When he’s discharged he is still too poor to go to college and has no means to improve his brother's life, but he has grown from his experiences and started on the path to manhood and emotional maturity. Richie’s change in attitude about life show that he still is capable of achieving his goals even though right now it seems the money situation is not allowing him to reach them. The fact that he did not let the war bring him down and ruin his life shows that anyone can overcome hardship.
Peewee is Richie’s friend. They met each other on the trip to Vietnam. He is arrogant and childish at first but just as Richie did,...
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