Ever hear the phrase "power corrupts"? Well, The Wave explores various examples of corrupt power; and in fact, the background of the story involves one of the most well-known examples of corrupt power in history: Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. But it gets personal, too. In teaching his students about this historical event, Ben (accidentally) abuses his power as a teacher by exposing the kids to a dangerous experiment. And of course, this abuse of power trickles down to the students. But don't worry, power isn't always negative in The Wave. Laurie Saunders, editor of the school paper, actually uses her power as a journalist to bring the truth of The Wave to light. Bottom line: not all power corrupts – you just have to be careful.
Ben had just as much power over his students before The Wave, he just didn't realize it.
Unlike Robert, Ben never let the power of The Wave go to his head: he was totally in control of himself the whole time.