Author: Morton Rhue text type: Novel
Date competed: 19/08/2013
Date of publication: 1981
Based on a true event, the novel The Wave by Morton Rhue, is about history teacher Ben Ross who after showing his class a movie about the Nazis horrendous actions during World War II, leaves the students horrified, pondering questions such as “then why didn’t anyone try and stop them” and “ How could they do that?” Ben Ross implements an experiment called The Wave which is to teach the students “Strength through discipline” and help them to understand the Nazis regime, however, what once was a simple classroom experiment to show power and discipline, escalates to a school wide political system, where those who were once alienated and were on the outskirts of society are now overwhelmed by unity and equality, and those who are not a part of The Wave being threated and tormented, leading to once was meant to explain control is now out of control.
The theme identity through stereotypes relates to society and particularly affects youths. This is because generally, it is hard for teenagers to identify with who they are or to try and fit in with others as teenagers tend to feel pressure to be who they are, evidently falling into the categories others put them in. This is related to The Wave as there are a number of different people in the novel who seemed to base their identity to fit the preconceived stereotypes placed by society. A character who shows this is Robert Billings who is shadowed by the success of his older brother. During the start of the novel Ben Ross talks to Robert about him not try hard in class “if you don’t start participating in class I will have to fail you. You’ll never graduate at his rate” This makes us assume that Robert is injudicious or not trying, automatic we assume that he isn’t smart however we later find out that this is untrue “he really does have a normal I.Q, He’s not really dumb or anything” Robert is showing the theme of identity through stereotypes as he is not unleashing his full potential. He is continuously being compared to his brother so instead of being himself, he chooses to belittle himself in order to fit everyone’s expectations of failure.
However, this is not the only case where Robert shows identity through stereotypes. Robert examples identity through stereotypes when his peers label him with names such as “the class loser”, “weird” and one boy even calling him as “Gordon High’s very own Untouchable” this is others given him his identity as he has nothing else to become, but, we can relate this to being a serotype as the author describes him reading a comic book alone “Robert was sitting alone at his table engrossed in a Spiderman comic book” we can associate this with being a stereotype as people tend to assume that those who read comic books are uncool or who sit alone have no friends again, confirming the theme of identity through stereotypes as Robert is fitting the assumption of what a “loser” is. I related to this theme as every day I see people with different labels, things that others think define us. Personally, I feel others label us by what they see on the outside, for example, I get labeled as things such as “cute” and “innocent “because of my height. Because I have been labeled with these titles from such a