Fallen Angels | Study Guide

Walter Dean Myers

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Course Hero. "Fallen Angels Study Guide." December 20, 2019. Accessed July 23, 2021. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fallen-Angels/.

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Course Hero, "Fallen Angels Study Guide," December 20, 2019, accessed July 23, 2021, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fallen-Angels/.

Fallen Angels | Chapter 14 | Summary

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Summary

Back at the camp, the squad tries not to think about what happened in the attempted ambush. Monaco receives a letter from his girlfriend suggesting that they should marry when he returns home, and the squad takes a vote 5-2 in favor of him marrying her. Captain Stewart interviews Perry about the incident and asks him to look over the letter to Turner's family. Perry rewrites it in a way that he hopes will make the family feel better.

The squad is sent out to occupy the first village where they had been sent on a pacification mission because Viet Cong soldiers have been harassing the village. When they arrive, they find a disaster; the Viet Cong had killed at least one person from each hut. Perry and Peewee confront the Viet Cong hiding in the village and kill them. When they return to camp, they find out that Alpha Company is moving to a base at Tam Ky.

Analysis

Perry uses his gift with words to offer Turner's family a version of events that is better than reality. Lieutenant Gearhart wants to take responsibility, but Perry points out to him that this would weigh heavy on the hearts of Turner's family, even if it lightened Gearhart's conscience. The novel challenges whether the truth is always better.

The scene at the village reflects the very real position of South Vietnamese citizens during the Vietnam War. No matter where their political allegiances might have lain, the South Vietnamese citizens were caught in an impossible situation. If they offer assistance to the Americans—or even simply fail to resist the Americans—the Viet Cong retaliated against the village to show that the Americans could not protect them. If they offered assistance to the Viet Cong, the Americans retaliated against them.

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