The Wave Analysis Essay

Submitted By bhatkesh230
Words: 2488
Pages: 10

The Wave Analysis Essay

“Fascism is not defined by the number of its victims, but by the way it kills them” (Jean-Paul Sartre). The Wave, a movie set in modern Germany is based on an experiment conducted in Cubberley high school, in North California in order to educate students on fascism during the holocaust; we have learned a lot about the psychological manner of humans from this experiment. A similar experiment to the one conducted in The Wave was The Stanford Prison Experiment. In this paper I will be discussing the experiment conducted in The Wave, The Stanford Prison Experiment, and finally comparing and contrasting the two. The Wave is a movie made to re-enact an experiment that was conducted by a high school teacher in California. The Wave is a fascist group that is created by a ‘harmless’ experiment conducted for school. In The Wave, Rainer Wenger is the main character he is a teacher at the school, a polo coach, and husband to one of the teachers teaching at the school. Rainer conducts this experiment with his class. For project week each student must choose a class and partake in its activities, Rainer Wenger is forced to teach the autocracy class, he is not thrilled to teach this subject since he wanted to teach the exact opposite, Anarchy. Rainer gets unique responses from the students; there are many different points of view on autocracy given out by the students. I feel that Rainer wanted to see if he could get his students to unify, I feel this because when getting the class to act as a unit he was also in the process of getting his polo team to play together as well, this must have encouraged him to undergo this experiment. In the film the purpose of the experiment was to get the students involved in the class, students talked about how something like the Nazi fascist party could never happen again, so to prove to the class that it was possible Rainer conducted this experiment. Rainer’s hypothesis of this experiment was that it would be a harmless experiment; this was an ethical hypothesis from him since he did not want to harm anyone or put anyone at risk. He was enjoying the fact that the students were so into the experiment, but had no idea how influential it was on their daily lives outside of the classroom. The method that Rainer used to conduct this experiment was to run his classroom as if it was a dictatorship, he as the leader and the students as the followers. He set rules for the class room; students would refer to him with his last name, to come into class as a unit, only speak when spoken to, to stand when speaking, and for everyone to wear a white dress shirt. Rainer had conditioned the students to do what he said, he started by making everyone follow his rule or not be allowed to stay in his class, but when he got most of the students to start to follow him the ones that would not conform to his rule would be treated as outcasts, they would be accounted for in discussions and treated as a minority. An example of this is when Karo, a student who did not agree with The Wave, did not want to conform and wear a white shirt like the rest of the class, Rainer treated her as if she did not exist in the classroom, and he did not let her speak and would treat her as a minority. This created other students who had conformed to Rainer’s ways to turn on her. These methods are very unethical. The students are dehumanized; they are all alike there is no individuality amongst them, which takes away their character, self-morals, and personality. It was also a dehumanizing, unethical decision for Rainer to treat Karo as a minority. Rainer Wenger did not take into consideration the ethical practices that he should have taken before, during, and after. Rainer Wenger did not fully educate his students before starting the experiment. Rainer Wenger told his students that they were not forced to stay the class and that they could leave at any time, but in reality the students could not withdraw from the…