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The Wave - Referat

The Wave

The book is called “The Wave”. The teacher Ben Ross gave his experiment this name, because it is like a Wave which drags along everything.
This book is written by Morton Rhue. Morton Rhue was born 1950 in Long Island. He also wrote “Give a Boy a Gun” und “Asphalt Tribe”. When „The Wave“ was filmed he became famous in Germany.
“The Wave” was published by the Penguin Group.
It is non fiction and a short story about a school that is out of control. The story takes place in a Gordon High school class in Palo Alto, California, in 1969.


BEN ROSS is a young history teacher who has been teaching at Gordon High school for two years. He is not good to repair technical problems. His wife, Christy, works at the same school. Students think that Ben is charismatic. He is also determines and he is the kind of person who gets utterly absorb in things where he tends to forget that the rest of the world exists. Ben Ross is the inventor of “The Wave”.

LAURIE SAUNDERS has short light brown hair. She is a student at Gordon High school and the editor in chief of “The Grapevine”. Laurie has a perpetual smile. She is a non smoker but she often chews on a pen when she feels nervous. Laurie is an intelligent student. She gets A-marks. After a few time she recognizes the disadvantages of “The Wave”. Laurie is a reliable girl and she also competitive, because she doesn’t give up although everybody was against her.

AMY SMITH is Laurie Saunders’ best friend. She is also a very clever and intelligent girl. Amy is a smoker and she likes “The Wave”.

DAVID COLLINS is Laurie’s boyfriend. He is a boy who is in the football team. David thought that “The Wave” is good for the football team. The experiment influenced him very quickly and he was not so shocked by the film about Nazis as Laurie. David is a self-confident boy who also gets good marks at school. The football team is very important for him. He is gifted to repair technical things.

ROBERT BILLINGS is the class loser. He always gets bad marks. Other students often make fun of him. He is very unsafe and he seldom gives answers during the lessons. Robert likes “The Wave” because he gets more self-confidence and nobody laughs about him. People think that he is dumb, but his mother says that he is only weird. Robert likes to read Spiderman comic books. He has no friends and he is an outsider.

The story:

The history teacher, Ben Ross, shows his students a documentary about Nazis committed in their concentration cramps. The pupils are shocked about this movie and they have many questions about this topic. Ben Ross has no answer when the students ask him why the Germany population didn’t do anything against Hitler.
The next day Ben Ross starts an experiment. In the first part of this Ben teaches his students “STRENGTH THROUGH DISCIPLINE”. The pupils have to stand up when they give an answer, they have to seat posture, and when
they would like to say something they have to begin the sentences with “Mr. Ross”.
The following days Ben Ross teaches his pupils “COMMUNITY” and “ACTION”. Then he invents “The Wave”, a group with an own salute, a symbol and membership cards. Everybody is fascinated by “The Wave”, but Laurie Saunders is against it. She believes that it is the same like brainwashing. Ben tells the students in their classroom that they should find more people who are interested in “The Wave”. More and more students become a member of this group.
The experiment goes out of control. The teacher knows that “The Wave” must stop, so he remembers the students of the movie which they have seen some days ago. Ben tells them that the same things happened like some years ago with Hitler.

The students are shocked when they know that this happened again what Hitler had done some years ago. After the experiment the pupils recognize that the school wasa influenced in a real simply way.
I believe that the author would like to show us, how easy it is to influence some people. We should have an own opinion as Laurie Saunders, in this book. And we shouldn’t drag along from something.

My opinion:

In my mind it is a very good book. I like it, because it is a true event. I can’t believe that nearly the whole school was influenced by “The Wave”. Only some students were against this experiment. I was shocked when I read that the pupils had forgotten a short time later, that “The Wave” started with the story about Hitler and Nazis.
I like the character of Laurie Saunders, because she always had her own opinion, although the whole class and also her boyfriend were against her. She knew that it was brainwashing, and so nobody had to influence her. In my opinion it was also a good book, because there is some general information about Hitler in it.
When I read the last chapters I was a little disappointed, because the first part was much better than the end of this book. I am convinced that the ending came much too fast.
But in general it was a very good book.

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