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The Wave By: Todd Strasser Essay

1292 words - 5 pages

The Wave was a story based on a real experience of a high school in Palo Alto, California in April 1967. It began in a History class at Gordon High School with a history teacher named Mr. Ross. Mr. Ross was teaching his students about the holocaust and the Nazi Party. He came up with an experiment to show his class how it would be living in Nazi-Germany and how it would be to be part of a party similar to the Nazi-party. Mr. Ross showed clips to the class about Jews in gas chambers and their dead bodies over lapping each other .Student described them as sticks because they had no meat.
There was a particular student that had a question by the name of Laurie. Laurie was a pretty girl in his history class with nice brown hair and a beautiful smile. Laurie was also editor-in-chief. Before Laurie asked her question students were angry from the film and a girl named Amy Smith asked “Were all the Germans Nazis “? “ Ben Shook his head “No, as a matter of fact, less than ten percent of the German population belonged to the Nazi party.” She followed up with “Then why didn’t anyone try to stop them?” Also a student named Eric said “that’s crazy” (pg12). Laurie’s question was “How could the Germans sit back while the Nazis slaughtered people all around them and say they didn’t know about it?” “How could they do that?” “How could they even say that?”(pg13).
All theses questions bothered Mr. Ross because he couldn’t give the students an adequate answer. As many books as he read, he still couldn’t find the answer so he thought he would just take a period or two to try an experiment .So he gave them a taste on what life would be like in Nazi Germany. He felt they needed to learn on their own. The next day Mr. .Ross talked about “STRENGTH THROUGH DISCIPLINE”. Mr. Ross said it began with posture. For the next twenty minutes the class practiced getting in and out of their seats on time. Before you know it with Mr. Ross giving those rules they began to make their own rules such as lining up outside the room. Then Mr. Ross made the students follow three rules. First, everyone must have pencils and note paper. Second, when asking or answering a question, you must stand at the side of your seats. Finally the first words you must say when answering or asking questions are; Mr. Ross.
This experiment became a movement that had many students involved. This was The Wave. Mr. Ross then elaborated on the goals of this movement. The students were to begin bringing him new tensions. Mr. Ross was taking a big risk on losing his job. Many teachers were disagreed with what he was doing and so did his wife. Later on Laurie didn’t agree with the wave either. She felt like an outsider looking in. She knew that the wave was heading people in the wrong direction .Students were even beginning to fight over the wave. It was even weakening relationships.
Later on David talked to Laurie and tried to convince her that The Wave was still the right thing to be in. They started to argue and...

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