The Wave Essay

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‘The Wave’ by Morton Rhue is a novel based on a true accountant of a class experiment gone wrong. Run by English teacher Mr Ross, the class takes part in an experiment to give them a taste of Nazi life. However things get terribly out of hand when the entire school becomes blindly immersed in the newly formed ‘cult’, christened ‘The Wave’. Mr Ross’ thirst for power grows as the momentum of ‘The Wave’ rolls into action, taking with it the freedom of free thought from the unsuspecting students. Mr Ross’ intentions are innocent enough to begin with, however he becomes transfixed with the success of his mission and gets carried away in the execution of his social experiment. After studying the film ‘Schindler’s List’ and witnessing the cult-like atmosphere of Nazi life and the mindless obedience of the SS workers, we can see how this behaviour relates to the behaviour of the students involved in ‘The Wave’. Student members of ‘The Wave’ acted under the rules and restrictions of their organization, blindly acting on behalf and servicing the association they’d aligned themselves with rather than acting of their own accord and following their personal beliefs and values. This behaviour dangerously mimics that of the Nazi workers, responsible for one of history’s most heinous acts against humanity. As Mr Ross becomes aware of the effect his experiment is having on his students he is pleased with the success of his plan and the self-propelled progress his students are making. From his position as the ‘leader’ of this organization Mr Ross’ ego inflates as he gets carried away on a power trip, revelling in the transformation of his class. Mr Ross, along with the members of ‘The Wave’, loses perspective on the subject they are

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