The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave Summary and Analysis of Wonderland and Silencer


In Wonderland, the point of view of the story shifts from Cassie to an unnamed boy suffering from the red plague. Later, we learn that this is Ben Parish, the long-time crush of Cassie who she assumes is dead. This is not far from the truth, since Ben almost dies of the red plague. This section details his struggles with the illness, his rescue by the human soldiers, and his subsequent joining of the army.

We learn a lot about Ben's background, including that he lost his little sister Sissy to a band of robbers and that the silver locket he holds is the last thing he has of her. He bonds with a man named Chris who turns out to be an Other masquerading as a human.

Ben kills Chris in the army compound when the doctor shows him what is inside Chris - a green, pulsating egg in his brain, the alien Other that has caused all this trouble. Colonel Vosch convinces Ben to join the cause, showing him a picture of the family he lost as well, and willing Ben to live in order to avenge them.

In Silencer, we pick up right where we left off with Cassie's story. She is hiding under the Buick car, but now, we are seeing the situation from the Silencer's point of view. He is debating whether to go over and end the problem now, or to wait for Cassie to come out.

Here, the reader realizes that the Silencer has been stalking Cassie. He has read her diary and he knows how her mind works. He becomes all the more terrifying when we learn this. The Silencer is just about to leave when he sees Cassie slowly slide out from under the Buick.

She is propelled by her desire to find Sammy and to keep surviving, even in the face of great odds. The Silencer wills her to run so that he can kill her easily and without remorse, but Cassie stands and faces the direction she thinks he is in, brandishing her gun. She is fearless in the face of death and that throws the Silencer.

He hesitates, looking at her face and reading the fear that lies there. The Silencer wants her to run, but she doesn't. After waiting and waiting, he finally turns, and runs away from Cassie.


This marks the first time that the story has shifted its point of view, first to Ben and then to the Silencer. It gives us a glimpse into the minds of another human who has survived the waves, as well as into the mind of an Other.

Ben just barely survived the red plague, and is incredibly traumatized by the recent events that have unfolded. He shows himself to be easily manipulated and malleable. He is easily convinced that Chris is evil and an Other.

Ben does not ask prying questions, accepting new truth easily and killing Chris as a surrogate for the men who killed his little sister. This demonstrates that Ben wants to avenge Sissy, but that he is also a little bit of a coward. He is happy to kill a stand-in for the men, instead of actually hunting the guilty parties down. It is easier to kill someone who is already restrained and who is served up to him on a silver platter.

The Silencer is introduced and remains a rather enigmatic character for now. He has hunted Cassie for a very long time, yet hasn't killed her or injured her in any way until this day. He seems to be waiting for something, but it is unclear what.

There is also some foreshadowing that the Silencer may play a larger role in the drama in the days to come. His inability to shoot Cassie until she runs shows that he may be swayed to the side of the humans. It also foreshadows that he may not be entirely Other, since he sympathizes with Cassie's plight.