Study Guide

Brunner in Fallen Angels

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Brunner is the jerk of the platoon. He says things that are racist and homophobic. He complains about the hippies and Commies who dodge and protest the draft.

If he lived in today's world, he'd be whining about how PC culture ruins everything.

But is there more to Brunner than meets the eye? Maybe, but we see it in really tiny doses.

One is when his wife, a waitress, writes to him that she got burned by a coffee urn:

"Brunner went out of his mind over it. He doesn't understand how a damn coffee urn could blow up." (14.195)

The psychological lesson here: Brunner cares about his wife, but he deals with any type of unpleasant feeling through anger. Plus, after this he may not be so fond of coffee. The takeaway is that when the guy is ranting angrily about something, there might be something else going on underneath the surface.

Just to add another layer, we also know Brunner's ambitious—looking to get promoted. Whenever higher officers are around, he's suddenly Mr. Nice Guy.

Brunner's decently complex as far as characters go. But for the purposes of the story, Brunner's there to represent a point of view unlike Perry's—the diehard army macho guy—so Perry and the others can rail against it.

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