Literary Review of "Fallen Angels" with citations and quotes from the book.

Essay by allie2249High School, 11th gradeA+, December 2005

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The novel, "Fallen Angels", was written by Walter Dean Myers in 1988 in Jersey City, New Jersey. The writing is of a war fiction genre and also a coming-of-age story. The tale is told in a first person point of view through a fairly young African-American soldier fighting in the controversial Vietnam War. The story takes place in 1967 to 1968.

The novel begins in 1967 with Richie Perry; a seventeen year old, black, high-school graduate joining the army. He decides to join the army because his mother cannot afford to send him to college, although he is very smart, and he does not want to keep living in Harlem. Richie hurts his knee in a basketball accident while in basic training and is told he will never see combat because of his injury. The paperwork gets messed up and Perry is sent to Vietnam. His company is stationed near Chu Lai where there isn't a lot of fighting.

During the squad's first outing, Richie's friend Jenkins was killed by a landmine. He realizes how frightening war is but cannot come to find the words when sending letters home to explain the horror and shock of the war. Throughout the rest of the story, Richie can't explain the war to himself and is unaware of what he and the rest of the soldiers are fighting for. He encounters an egocentric captain, Stewart, whom is only concerned with a promotion which he will only get if his troop kills more enemies. This results in Richie's squad being sent on unessential, dangerous missions. Richie has an internal battle with himself throughout the rest of the novel. He struggles to find his motives for joining the army. One day during a mission, Peewee and Richie hid in a hole overnight near an...