Wave- Book Review

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The Wave
Morton Rhue

This story, based on a true incident that occurred in a high school in California, demonstrates how easily a group can lose its freedom without even realising it. It all began when their history teacher, Mr. Ben Ross, let them watch a movie on how the Nazis in World War 2 tortured the people who opposed them. To give them a clearer picture, he decided to them in the situation itself. He then introduced an organisation, The Wave, and its motto, "Strength through discipline, Strength through community and strength through action." A salute was also introduced to make them feel like a unit, where everyone would be equal. This was most rewarding to their class' loser, Robert Billings, as the other students often picked on him. As many as two hundred pupils in the school became part of it after Mr. Ross had encouraged his students to recruit more members. The sudden change from a bunch of unruly students to disciplined ones was remarkable. However, a Jewish boy was beaten up in school but Wave members for refusing to participate in its activities. This was followed by a letter by a junior student complaining of threats by his seniors, who were Wave members. Matters became more serious when Robert offered to be Mr. Ross' bodyguard, and the school football team had incorporated the Wave to improve their team spirit and attitude. Despite their hard work, they still lost 42 to 6. These were printed in the school paper, ‘the Grapevine', condemning the Wave as a dangerous and mindless movement that suppressed freedom of speech and thought and ran against everything the country was founded on. Mr. Ross finally decided to end this, after incessant persuasion from his wife and two of his students, ‘the Grapevine' Editor-in-chief Laurie Saunders and her boyfriend David, an ex Wave member. Mr. Ross invited all the Wave members to a rally and gave a speech, at the same time, showing them the same movie the seniors...
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