Study Guide

Fallen Angels Prejudice

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What do you think when you think of the 1960's? Maybe hippies, peace signs, cute little mod outfits? How about complicated race relations? Anyone?

The '60's were a time of social and political change on a lot of levels. Hey, even the hippies started growing their hair long to protest social conventions. And on a broader level, the 1960's saw a lot of people standing up for their rights and freedoms and demanding not to be discriminated against based on race, gender, sexuality, or other reasons. Most famously there was the civil rights movement, with marches to end segregation and ensure better protections for black citizens.

The LGBT movement also took off in the 1960s, when gay, lesbian, and transgender patrons of a bar fought against a police force trying to arrest them. That's right—at that time, you could get arrested just for being openly gay in a bar.

On a smaller scale, a lot of similar conflicts play out in the world of Perry's squad. Black and white men fight alongside each other, but they don't always get along. And then, you have Lobel—another outsider, desperately trying to prove that he isn't gay.

Take all that, mix it up, and you're going to get some conflict.

Questions About Prejudice

  1. Why does the guy with three rings want to swear a blood oath?
  2. Why does Peewee consider Monaco to be one of the black men in the platoon? Do you think Dongan views Monaco the same way?
  3. Why did Lobel think joining the army would convince his father that he isn't gay?
  4. How does the way the Vietnamese are talked about within the platoon compare to how the black men in the platoon are spoken to?

Chew on This

Lobel tries to ally himself with the black men in his platoon because he, too, feels like an outsider.

Dongan ordering the black men to the ends of their squad formation is a type of segregation.

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