Student Question

What happens between Laurie and David in The Wave?

Quick answer:

In The Wave by Todd Strasser, Laurie Saunders and David Collins are a couple until the Wave comes between them. Laurie's doubts and concerns about the Wave lead to an argument with David. The couple then breaks up. David actually gets violent with Laurie because of her criticism of the Wave but is then horrified by his actions. The couple reconciles in the end.

Expert Answers

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In Todd Strasser's novel The Wave, teacher Ben Ross tries an experiment with his students to get them to understand how easy it was for the German people to support the Nazis. He creates the Wave, a group with its own logo and salute and motto. The students are enthusiastic about the Wave, as it seems to help school spirit and get kids who are normally outsiders involved.

Laurie Saunders, however, has plenty of doubts about the Wave, especially as incidents of bullying and exclusion start spreading throughout the school. Laurie finds out about a lot of these incidents through her role as editor of the school newspaper.

Laurie's boyfriend, David Collins, is especially enthusiastic about the Wave because he thinks it will help the football team. Laurie and David begin to argue about the Wave when she talks to him about her doubts. David then breaks up with Laurie when she refuses to go to a Wave rally.

At this point, Laurie is even more concerned about the spread of the Wave, and she writes an article for the paper exposing the group. A few days later, David meets with Laurie and asks her to stop criticizing the Wave. When she refuses, he actually throws her to the ground in anger. This action, however, wakes David up and makes him realizes how much the Wave has affected his behavior and relationships. He apologizes to Laurie, and the two make up and go to Ben's house to ask him to stop the Wave now.

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