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The Wave

The Wave


by Todd Strasser

The Wave Analysis

Literary Devices in The Wave

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory


High school! Woo! Well, not quite. The Wave is set in and around Gordon High School over a nine day period – and boy is it dramatic. The somewhat-true story this novel is based on is set in Palo...

Narrator Point of View

The third-person narrator of The Wave is flexible and practical, and sometimes a little mysterious. Being able to slip into the minds of any character he wants gives readers VIP access to different...


Discussions of genre are for you – so that if you find a book you like, you can look for other books that fit into that category. The Wave fits into a one very special category: the novelization....


The tone in a piece of fiction is the author's attitude toward the story, the characters, and the themes. It can also refer to specific ideas or messages the author is trying to get across, or beli...

Writing Style

A Novel IdeaNovelization. How cool is that word? Well, that's just what The Wave is: a novelization of a made-for-TV movie from the early 1980s. Many, many of the novels featured by Shmoop have bee...

What's Up With the Title?

How on earth did Todd Strasser come up with all this stuff? Well, to be honest, he didn't. In fact, the title of The Wave is just the title of the movie it's adapting. Okay, but that title had to c...

What's Up With the Ending?

Technically, The Wave has a happy ending: the experiment ends before too much damage is done, maybe some lessons are learned, and, well, nobody dies. So let's talk about the two major things that g...


This book can be hard to stomach at time, but it's pretty straightforward.  No major twists, no major turns, and no major rhetorical devices. Sit back and relax and enjoy the... novelization!

Plot Analysis

Movie TimeThese days, we're familiar with tons of documentaries about the Holocaust and World War II. And chances are you will at some point be in a dark room watching one. So you can probably re...


The Wave is very loosely based on a situation that went down in Palo Alto, California in the 1960s.Todd Strasser isn't that famous in the U.S. But in Germany, where he's known as Morton Rhue, he's...

Steaminess Rating

The Wave doesn't get very steamy. Unless, of course, you count the time that Laurie hugs David after they make up. Now that's some action.


William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich(4.10)Frankenstein (7.27)Time magazine (9.6)Anne Frank (12.47)The Night of the Living Dead(14.7)

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