Walter Dean Myers
In Fallen Angels, Walter Dean Myers introduces the theme of how a person can change just by the environment they enter. He does this through the character Richie Perry and his experience in the Vietnam War. The reader can get an idea of how this occurs by Perry?s conflict with man, himself, and the Vietnamese wilderness.
Perry?s whole ordeal in ?Nam? is mainly focused around the ?firefights? he encounters against the Vietcong (VC) and the North Vietnamese Army (NVA). As he first arrives ?in country?; he can sense this new evil creeping over him. This is when the reader can see the changes begin. Perry is used to military life yet he cannot cope with the sudden death that seems to envelop nearly everyone in an instant. When Jenkins, a boy Perry met on the plane ride over, steps on a mine and is killed on their first patrol Perry is dumb stuck and no longer finds anything joyful about life.
Then when he himself kills a VC guerilla up close he no longer can be the same person. After few months ?in country?, Perry now is full of fear and doubt in every situation. Just the sound of a chopper coming in for a ?dust off evacuation? makes him vomit. By these examples, the reader can see Perry?s progressive change just by the environment he is faced with.
Through his conflict with the VC, he then becomes in conflict with himself in regards to taking someone else?s life. Perry never wanted to kill anyone, but realizes, through his friend Peewee?s wisdom, that he must; or the ?charlie? would surely kill him. Just then, he begins to wonder ?what any of them were doing in Nam? and how wrong war really is. As he tries...