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Ben Ross is conducting an experiment. This is his class, his experiment, and his individual attempt to thoroughly teach a concept to his students. One of the two most important questions students consistently ask while studying WWII are WHY and HOW. Ross' experiment addresses these questions by putting his students in a similar situation and allowing it to snowball. Through this experiment, he teaches the children the cause and the effect.....
Laurie is a strong individual, thus, she doesn't completely fall under the spell of the "good of the community." Whereas many high school students are determined to fit in and go along with the group (example: Hitler Youth), Laurie exemplifies strength in herself rather then the strength found in numbers.
Laurie also has a strong family unit, something many other the other students lack. For those searching for a place in society, becoming a part of the "group" can be everything. The Wave gives those outside the box something to belong to, a family. Laurie already had that.