full title · Fallen Angels
author · Walter Dean Myers
type of work · Novel
genre · Coming-of-age story; historical fiction; war fiction
language · English
time and place written · 1988; Jersey City, New Jersey.
date of first publication · 1988
publisher · Scholastic Inc.
narrator · Richie Perry, a young African-American soldier in the Vietnam War
point of view · Richie tells the story in the first person, giving us immediate, intimate access to his thoughts and feelings as the action unfolds.
tone · Richie speaks with immediacy and poignancy, baring his innermost fears and thoughts. He filters the action of the novel through the medium of these emotions and ideas.
tense · Past
setting (time) · Several months in 1967 and 1968
setting (place) · Vietnam
protagonist · Richie Perry
major conflict · Richie struggles to come to terms with the grim reality of war, which contradicts the myths about war that he believed going into it.
rising action · Richie’s enlistment in the army to escape a bleak future; the misplacement of Richie’s medical file, and his resulting assignment to Vietnam; Richie’s burgeoning friendship with Peewee, Jenkins, and Johnson; the soldiers’ journey to their camp near Chu Lai.
climax · Richie’s success in drafting a truthful letter to his brother that discusses honestly the unromantic and gruesome nature of combat.
falling action · The poorly planned mission on which the squad is sent; Peewee and Richie’s separation from the rest of the squad; Peewee and Richie’s quick thinking to save the lives of Monaco and the rest of the squad; Peewee’s and Richie’s getting wounded in the battle.
themes · The loss of innocence; the unromantic reality of war; the moral ambiguity of war
motifs · Race; friendship; heroism
symbols · Richie’s letters home; the lost dog tags; war movies
foreshadowing · The army’s failure to process Richie’s medical file properly hints that Richie will not receive a medical discharge and will have to fight; the army’s bureaucratic mix-up at the airport in Osaka previews the general chaos of war and the ineffectiveness of trying to control that chaos.
Many people in this world are unsure of what their future goals may be just like this certain young man named, Richie Perry. Richie Perry is a smart African American and well behaved child who had graduated from his high school in Harlem. However, his mother who loves to drink does not have enough money to send him to collage. Richie believes he should join the army so he can escape his future, which he does, he joins the army. He is now being sent to Vietnam to fight in the war to fulfill his duty. Richie claims he joined the army to find o... Read more→
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setting is in Harlem in 1967.
Richie joined the army so he can have money and send it home to his little brother, Kenny. He also joined because it is an escape to get away from all the questions people would ask him about his future that he was unsure of. After he is sent to Vietnam to fight he writes to his brother explaining that the war is going to end very soon. Richie begins to get familiar with his leader which he quickly finds out is selfish by his actions.
Richie begins to start thinking deep about his entire life,very shortly they are ambushed and Richie begins to fire his weapon. Once they escape the attack they find out their leader was hit by enemy fire and must be taken to the hospital where he dies. Everyone is mourning their fallen soldier's death and pays their respect. Hours go by, Richie and his squad are restless, don't know what to do. they become very bored and start thinking of what terror could occur next.