The Wave is based on a true incident that occurred in a high school history class in Palo Alto, California, in 1969.
The powerful forces of group pressure that pervaded many historic movements such as Nazism are recreated in the classroom when history teacher Burt Ross introduces a "new" system to his students. And before long The Wave, with its rules of "strength through dThe Wave is based on a true incident that occurred in a high school history class in Palo Alto, California, in 1969.
The powerful forces of group pressure that pervaded many historic movements such as Nazism are recreated in the classroom when history teacher Burt Ross introduces a "new" system to his students. And before long The Wave, with its rules of "strength through discipline, community, and action", sweeps from the classroom through the entire school. And as most of the students join the movement, Laurie Saunders and David Collins recognize the frightening momentum of The Wave and realize they must stop it before it's too late.
Mass Market Paperback, 138 pages
Published 2005 by Laurel Leaf Books (first published 1981)
Teenage Themes In The Wave Morton Rhue
The Wave by Morton Rhue (Todd Strasser) is a novel from a student’s perspective, as an authoritarian right wing movement called “The Wave” changes her school. Ben Ross, one of the teachers in the school, created it to try to show his class the reasons for the inexplicable behavior of the Germans when the Nazi movement spread through Germany. Laurie, one of the students, finds out how she is alienated from her classmates when she does not accept their values of conformity through unity. Thus, it demonstrates how easily people can be swept up by a movement not only in Nazi Germany, but also in the modern day classroom, where students are learning about the evil influence of the Nazi movement in World War II. This can be applied to teenagers, as it is a period of their lives where they are easily influenced, and in the book, relevant themes to teens such as bullying, alienation and peer pressure are conveyed.
Bullying is the act of intimidating a weaker person to make them do something. As the Wave spread rapidly through the school, those who refused to participate or join as a member were bullied into doing so. Such was the case according to the article submitted to Laurie “Join the Wave— or else” where a boy was warned “he’d (I’d) lose all his (my) friends if he (I) didn’t join” by a senior boy. This is clearly an intimidation tactic to make the boy join, and hence you could class it as bullying. Another case of bullying happened when David tried to intimidate Laurie to discontinue producing the magazine that condemns the Wave movement by showing the bad parts to it. He “held her arm” and when she “struggled harder to get out of his grasp”, he “threw her down on the grass.” Immediately after, he realized he had hurt his friend, and apologized. However not many people in real life apologize, as they do not realize the consequences of their actions. You could relate the issue of bullying to teens, as many people are intimidated by others to do something that they would not do. For example, people can be forced into handing over their lunch money to a schoolyard bully (not that it really happens at Hale, but rather in my imagination). You could take the issue of bullying further, to racism, as one of the members of the Wave assaulted a Jewish boy. This act shows how the Nazi background of the movement had influenced the group, as they had no second thoughts about committing it. Another more common form of bullying, mockery is referred to at several occasions in The Wave and has not much point except to get laughs from other classmates. In the book, Robert Billings, a target of his “incessant tormentor” Brad, is a low achiever at school which might be due to the fact he has a low morale from being bullied. Even at the beginning of the book, we establish the relationship between the two as when Robert asks “We gonna see a movie?” Brad interjects “No, dummy, Mr. Ross just likes to set up projectors for fun.” Although it may sound funny, if you look...
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