Describe Laurie’s mother in The Wave.

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davmor1973 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mrs. Saunders is a highly intelligent woman, very clued-up when it comes to politics. She's very supportive of her daughter, Laurie, and is genuinely proud of her enormous popularity and success at Gordon High. When The Wave starts taking over the school, Laurie's profoundly uneasy at the development. While working on the student paper, she reads an anonymous letter from a student claiming that members of The Wave have been bullying those kids outside of the group. It seems that Ben's innovative experiment in getting his pupils to understand the Nazis is getting totally out of hand.

The reactions of Laurie's parents to The Wave phenomenon are completely different. Laurie's dad is all for it; he thinks it might be good for building character. A lot of the high school kids think much the same thing. They believe that The Wave might be good for morale among the football team.

Mrs. Saunders, however, is deeply worried about The Wave. She realizes straight away how sinister and cult-like this strange new group on campus really is. She likens The Wave to the military, and it's not hard to see why. We can see from Mrs. Saunders' perceptiveness that it is her, rather than her husband, who's largely responsible for shaping Laurie's values, her sense of what's right and wrong. Laurie thinks that The Wave is immature; but worse than that, she knows it's just plain wrong and is causing serious divisions at Gordon High. It's Mrs. Saunders' upbringing of Laurie that's helped bring her daughter to this disturbing insight.

Above all else, Mrs. Saunders is very individualistic, and has raised her daughter to be a true individual, someone who will stand up to the mob. Mrs. Saunders thinks for herself and it's absolutely essential for her that Laurie does likewise. That means steering well clear of a group that is based on mindless conformity and the exclusion of those who don't fit in.