Fallen Angels | Study Guide

Walter Dean Myers

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Course Hero. "Fallen Angels Study Guide." December 20, 2019. Accessed March 2, 2021. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fallen-Angels/.

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Fallen Angels | Chapter 22 | Summary

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Summary

Perry and Peewee lie together on the top of the ridge, waiting to decide their next move. They hear Vietnamese voices coming toward them and shoot in that direction. The enemy soldiers throw a flare, and Peewee sees how many of them there are, coming up the ridge toward them. At the edge of the ridge, Perry finds a rock overhang that will conceal them, and they both climb in. They pass the night listening to the sounds of the soldiers searching for them. When morning comes, the Vietnamese move out, except for one, who comes to search the hole Perry and Peewee are in. They manage to pull him in, kill him, and hide his body without any of his fellow soldiers noticing. Perry and Peewee escape the hole, moving toward their extraction point, but Peewee is injured. They find Monaco alone, pinned down by snipers, and manage to cover him as they make a break for an incoming helicopter. However, Perry is hit by gunfire as they take off.

Analysis

Perry and Peewee keep one another safe throughout the night by hiding together in a so-called "spider hole," a small hidden cave or cavity that Viet Cong soldiers created as hiding places. The hiding places allow the Viet Cong soldiers, who are more familiar than the American soldiers with the terrain, to move around the jungle more freely while evading the attention of their enemy. Perry and Peewee worry that the soldier who comes to investigate their hiding place is the one who created the spider hole.

Perry and Peewee hold hands lying on the ridge, and they take comfort in one another's presence as they squeeze into the spider hole. They feel a little bit embarrassed by needing this physical contact that, to them, seems out of character for the strong, brave soldiers that they are supposed to be. The comfort that it brings them, however, is symbolic of the strong bond that soldiers share, a bond that transgresses the norms and expectations that society typically sets. This scene represents the depth of connection between the soldiers of a unit and the unique character of that connection, which exists outside the bounds of normal life.

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