Study Questions & Essay Topics
How do Richie’s beliefs about war change throughout his tour of duty in Vietnam?
How do war movies perpetuate the romantic ideals of war? How does Fallen Angels criticize these movies and myths?
How do the soldiers cope with the horrors that they see? Contrast the coping mechanisms of Richie, Peewee, and Lobel.
Suggested Essay Topics
1. Compare Fallen Angels to All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque’s famous antiwar novel from World War I. What themes do these novels have in common? How are they different? Would you characterize Fallen Angels as an antiwar novel? Why or why not?
2. How does Fallen Angels address matters of race and class in America? How does the novel portray the effects of the war on race and class issues, and the effects of race and class issues on the war? Why is it ironic that so many war protesters are college students?
3. Trace Richie’s attitude toward the war through his letters to his family. What is the significance of his longtime inability to write an honest letter? What is the significance of his eventual ability to write a truthful letter to Kenny?
4. Explain the different styles of leadership of Captain Stewart, Sergeant Simpson, Lieutenant Carroll, Lieutenant Gearhart, Corporal Brunner, and Sergeant Dongan. What is the novel’s attitude toward each of their styles?
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