Teenage Themes in The Wave - Morton Rhue Essay

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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,…show more content…
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 at the situation from Robert’s perspective, bullying is quite cruel. The book tries to show how bullying can affect people in the classroom, with the characters Robert and Brad. Many teens are subject to bullying in the classroom or out of school, because the bully feels part of a group when others laugh at the person who is bullied. If the message that

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