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Study Guide: The Wave by Todd Strasser - BookNotes

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This is the last page of the free study guide for "The Wave" by Todd Strasser.
The complete study guide is currently available as a downloadable PDF, RTF, or MS Word DOC file from the PinkMonkey MonkeyNotes download store. The complete study guide contains summaries and notes for all of the chapters; detailed analysis of the themes, plot structure, and characters; important quotations and analysis; detailed analysis of symbolism, motifs, and imagery; a key facts summary; a multiple-choice quiz, and suggested book report ideas and essay topics.


THE WAVE: LITERATURE NOTES / BOOK SUMMARY

CHAPTER EIGHT

Summary

David has walked Laurie to school since they were sophomores. The next morning, he is enthusiastic as he describes how The Wave will help the football team. Laurie isn't as sure and asks about his seeking help in Calculus. David doesn't want to ask his classmates or else they'll know he's struggling; Laurie suggests getting Amy's help.

In History class, Ben Ross starts by passing out Wave membership cards. Those with a red X are monitors, making sure all members of The Wave obey the rules. He also introduces a new slogan: STRENGTH THROUGH ACTION. Mr. Ross explains that discipline and community are useless without action that achieves a goal. Laurie finds all of this creepy, but decides to stay quiet. Mr. Ross also stresses an end to competition within the group, that they all work towards the same ends. He then reveals the first action for The Wave: recruitment of new members. David and Eric both feel vindicated in already talking to the football team about The Wave. Mr. Ross is ready to move on to other class matters but George Snyder, Robert Billings, and others spontaneously express joy and pride about being in The Wave. After some salutes and slogan chanting, Ben Ross realizes The Wave is taking on a life of its own.

At lunch, Robert is invited by David to join other Wave members at a table. Laurie asks if anyone feels weird about The Wave, but both Amy and Brad express relief at the end to popularity contests through this new sense of equality and community. As one of the chosen monitors, Brian jokes about reporting Laurie. David says she isn't breaking any rules but Robert points out that if she is against The Wave it would be breaking the rules because it defies the community. Laurie resists answering Robert as he's now become accepted by others and thinks that's a positive development for him.


Notes

David first expresses a pluralistic attitude for The Wave in his belief that different opinions are allowed in The Wave. In this way, his idealism takes another complex turn: he is able to balance both the needs of the community with the needs of the individual. Robert is more protective of The Wave and boils down its tenets to a very basic equation: above all else, the community must be preserved. This is an echo of the notion that the first duty of a community is to maintain itself. In the simplistic stance taken by most Wave members, opinions expressing anything contrary to this are thus antithetical to the community and its values.


CHAPTER NINE

Summary

Ben Ross is not sure what to make of The Wave. Recruitment is a success, and his history class has become packed. The class is doing well and not falling behind, but the students now rely more on rote memorization and short answers rather than critical thinking which requires longer answers. Biology teacher and football coach Norm Schiller has thanked Ben for The Wave, as it seems to be helping the team as they prepare against Clarkstown. Students give him different answers for why they like The Wave: that it's something new, that it's democratic, even that they enjoy the increased discipline.

Meanwhile, Laurie and the staff of the Grapevine are having difficulty coming up with material for the next issue. When The Wave is mentioned, Laurie hesitates at first but agrees, asking the staff to gather the opinions of other students about this phenomenon. That night, Laurie's mother Midge talks to her: she ran into Elaine Billings, ecstatic about the changes in her son Robert, who she had been previously deeply concerned over. Laurie's Mom isn't as sure that what's happening to Robert is a good thing, as it follows the pattern of cults and the kinds of people attracted to them. Asked about the Wave Rally this coming Friday afternoon, Laurie tells her it's jut a football pep rally with a different name. Mrs. Saunders is surprised that none of this concerns Laurie, who thinks it's just a fad. Alone, Laurie isn't as set in her convictions and is indeed worried.

Notes

The reference to Time magazine in this chapter is important, as it indicates two things: Ben Ross' desire for wider recognition for his teaching abilities, as well as the belief that the problem of disaffected, undisciplined students is a national concern. The humor of the Grapevine staff is again distinctly anti-authoritarian in nature, though now it seems more pointed than before.




This is the last page of the free study guide for "The Wave" by Todd Strasser.
The complete study guide is currently available as a downloadable PDF, RTF, or MS Word DOC file from the PinkMonkey MonkeyNotes download store. The complete study guide contains summaries and notes for all of the chapters; detailed analysis of the themes, plot structure, and characters; important quotations and analysis; detailed analysis of symbolism, motifs, and imagery; a key facts summary; a multiple-choice quiz, and suggested book report ideas and essay topics.

 

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