Study Guide

Fallen Angels Visions of Vietnam

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Visions of Vietnam

If Yelp existed in the '60s, our main character Richard Perry would have given the entire country of Vietnam zero stars.

You can't really blame him, though, because all of his Vietnam experiences are colored by the war. Either he's on the safe ground of the American base, which is hot and full of rats, or he's on a mission or on patrol, where he could in theory get killed at any moment.

But even though Perry mentions the rain or the mud more than anything else in Vietnam, he still realizes that its people are a lot like him. Even though they are his enemy, he has more than a few moments of recognition—including when he kills a member of the Vietcong.

Questions About Visions of Vietnam

  1. What is the function of water in the novel?
  2. What do the rice paddies symbolize? What does night symbolize?
  3. How does the way Perry thinks about the small hamlet villages change over the course of the story?
  4. How do the American soldiers think about the ARVN?

Chew on This

Perry's comparison of the hooch to native Vietnamese huts is a metaphor for how the American and the Vietnamese sides fought in the war.

The description of the Vietnamese landscape after Perry and Peewee emerge from the hole reflects the triumph of their survival.

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