The 5th Wave


Summary: Part 6 (The Human Clay), Chapters 42-52

Summary: Part 6 (The Human Clay), Chapters 42-52

The narration returns to Ben’s point of view. Ben is a soldier now, and his name is Zombie. Ben feels that the old Ben Parish is dead; the new one, Zombie, is a “badass.” He owes this transformation to his sadistic basic training drill sergeant, Reznik, whom he fantasizes about killing every night. Ben describes the other members of Squad 53, who are all equally abused by Reznik. Flintstone and Tank are about Ben’s own age, and both are rather quick-tempered. Dumbo, easygoing and sweet, and Oompa, quiet and chubby, are both about twelve years old. Poundcake is eight years old and the best shot in the squad. The youngest member, Teacup, is an aggressive seven-year-old girl eager for revenge on the Others.

Sammy, now called Nugget, becomes the new youngest member of the squad one day. Although Ben does not recognize Sammy (he never noticed Cassie at school, either), he takes pity on the frightened young child who is being forced to train as a soldier. In standing up for Nugget against Reznik, Ben gets himself (accidentally) appointed squad leader, which causes some jealousy on the side of Flintstone, who has just been demoted.

Ben describes life in basic training. Every squad is in competition with the others, since it takes a certain number of points to graduate. Every soldier-in-training is eager to graduate so that he or she can be deployed and get busy wreaking vengeance on the aliens. Basic training is hellish, including hours each day of sorting and incinerating dead bodies—supposedly the bodies of plague victims who were “winnowed” out from the healthy future soldiers. The whole reality of life at Camp Haven is incredibly harsh, and people often “go Dorothy,” or snap. This happens to Tank in this section. He begins questioning what is really happening at Camp Haven and suggests, hysterically, that it doesn’t matter because they’re all going to die no matter what. Tank is taken out of the squad and turns up in the...

Sign up to continue reading Summary: Part 6 (The Human Clay), Chapters 42-52 >

Essays About The 5th Wave