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In the book Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers, we read about the hardships and troubles of the main character, Richard Perry, during the Vietnam War. We learn a lot about Perry throughout the book, and by the end of the book we feel like we know exactly how Perry feels, and we have an understanding of some of the hardships that the soldiers faced in Vietnam. In this book, Perry kills a Vietnamese man in a hut he was supposed to check out, and from this point on he does a lot of thinking about why he is fighting in the war.
From experiences like this Perry changes both physically and mentally. Also he does a lot of thinking about himself, and he asks himself what kind of person he is. Then Perry looks deep inside and asks himself with all the dying around me, all the killing, was making me look at myself again, hoping to find more then the kid I was.
Maybe I could sift through the kids stuff, the basketball, the Harlem streets, and the find the man I would be. In the beginning of the book Perry is very different than he is at the end. In the beginning of the book Perry goes into the war a little scared, because he doesn’t know what to expect. After Perry is wounded and sent back to war he becomes horrified by the thought of going back to war, and throws up. Another difference between Perry before and after the war is the fact that before the war he had never killed anyone or had been around death that much.
After the war you know that he will never forget these tragedies, because these are very traumatizing things to see, and they scar for life. One example that probably scared Perry for the rest of his life were the sounds he heard after Brew, and himself had been shot. He saw them trying to help Brew, but then I heard the zipper. I didn’t have to see it. I heard the zipper (208). This sound, you can only imagine, is one of the scariest things you could hear, because you hear them working on him, but then to hear them zipping up the body bag has to make you wonder if your next.
Another thing different about Perry from the beginning of the war and till the end of the war is that in the beginning of the war Perry spends a lot of his time being concerned about the people killed in combat, and the feelings and thoughts of the opposing Vietnamese soldiers. After almost being killed Perry realizes what Peewee said was right. He realizes that if he wants to survive this war, I better think about killing the Congs before they killed me, and that better be my reason, he had said, till I got back to the World (216). By the end of the book he realizes he wants to live through this, and the only way he is going to do this is if he puts his feelings aside, and fights for his life. You can not have sympathy towards the other troops, because if you do that you might hesitate to pull the trigger, and be killed. In my opinion I feel that Perry will return to States a completely changed man. I feel he will still be a very quiet person who will probably avoid talking about the war to other people, because he knows they will never be able to understand it unless they were there. I do feel though there is a possibility he might use his writing talent for the better, and maybe write a book telling the world about his experience s in Vietnam. Also I feel that he will go back to states, and take care of Kenny and his mother. When he does get back I feel he will probably be very overprotective, because he knows he almost lost them once, and he doesn’t t want that to happen again. Also Perry might have a hard time sleeping, and might have nightmares, or possibly wake up in cold sweats. Adjusting to his old life will be hard for him, and he will spend a lot of time thinking about his friends he lost at war, and his friends who are still at war. In conclusion I feel that a traumatic experience like the Vietnam war will change anyone, and Perry fits under this category. He has changed a lot as a person in whole especially emotionally and mentally. He learns that it’s all right to feel bad for someone, but not to the point where you can’t pull the trigger and you end up getting killed. Perry is a very emotional guy, and is forced to put his felling aside to survive. I only hope that if I am ever put in the same position and my life is on the line, I can put my feelings a side, and do what I’d have to do to survive.
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