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Wave Novel Study

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Submitted By nana98
Words 1852
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Independent Novel Study: Wave
Part A: Plot
1. The point of view in which the story is written is of Sam and Beth Brooks, two siblings who have been separated at Christmas in 2004, with Sam on vacation away from home and Beth forcibly staying at university for a swim meet that she must attend. I believe that the author chose to write from these perspectives because both characters are greatly affected greatly by the main plot, though dealing with it in two different situations. Sam is experiencing the entire story from Phuket, Thailand, where they are hit with a tsunami. Beth was in New York at her dorm, first learning about the tsunami from her boyfriend, Tad. Both characters have different feelings about what has happened, and we, as the readers, get to hear both perspectives.
2. The story takes place on the one hand in Phuket, Thailand during Christmas break of 2004, and on the other side of the world in New York, where Beth's dorm and university are located. The difference that the setting makes is that if most of the characters were not located in Thailand where the tsunami happened, and majority of the story did not take place there, we would only be privy to secondary information of what was happening. Beth was only able to watch the huge tsunami unfold on television, being an unbelievable 27-hour flight away from the wave. Sam having been in Phuket even before the tidal wave hit was a primary witness in the events that occurred on that historic day. He could actually see the fear on peoples' faces as they watched the water withdraw further and further, leaving a wider beach, creating a massive wave that came in and took thousands of lives with it, and changed the ones of those still living forever.
3. The moment that the main challenge starts is about a third of the way through the book, when the tsunami hits the island that the Brooks family (minus Beth) are taking their annual Christmas vacation, along with many other tourists there at the resort. After Beth hears about the events that have taken place where the rest of her family is located, she immediately decides to book a plane to Thailand in search of her loved ones. She hopes they are still alive, which we unfortunately learn is not the case. The type of conflict shown in this novel is man/woman vs. nature, since Sam and Beth are left to deal with the long-term effects of the tidal wave.
4. The resolution of the story was when Beth overcame the obstacles after finding her father dead under one of the tarps at the temple on Phuket and learning about her mothers' probable disappearance. She continues on to find Sam safe in a hospital located on the main land, having to share the sad information about their beloved parents. The conflict was resolved when Beth had the courage to go on, even after the terrible news she earlier received. I believe that the resolution had both a positive and a negative outcome because Beth and Sam still lost their parents, but in the process matured in knowing that they can move on together after these challenges, and they will be able to survive even if it is not in the way that they had hoped. What the protagonist has learned through her experiences is that things do not always go the way you want, but you will learn to cope with the impact of such a devastating situation.
Part B: Character Sketch
5. Physically the protagonist, Beth Brooks, is a brunette-haired, very healthy and active 18-year-old university student, with a very loving family, who she cares very deeply for. Having always been a swimmer, Beth has made the choice to give up her Christmas vacation with the family to compete in a swim meet at university. Beth is a very brave character, showing an overwhelming amount of courage when she travels far away from home to the site of a horrendous tsunami that her parents and brother have been caught up in. The character's physical qualities are important to the story because without her valour, the story could come to an end.
6. The most important thing that the protagonist did in the story was make the journey to Phuket, Thailand to find her family. Though Beth's father was killed during the second wave at their resort, and her mother was likely taken away by the tide with no way of fighting since the wave was strong and she had multiple sclerosis, Beth still had to be there for her younger brother Sam. The importance of this action was her brother may have never been found and brought home. We might have never known what was to become of any of the characters if Beth had not literally come to the rescue.
7. What others on the island say about the protagonist in the story is that she is very brave to be coming towards the madness of the after-effects of a major tsunami instead of trying to escape it. How others react to the protaganist is they are very respectful and helpful with finding her family. Beth meets a young man named Seth at the Buddhist temple on the island who helps her identify her father where the dead bodies had been layed to be claimed. After leaving the temple headed to look for her brother and mother, Beth meets a young couple who are searching for the parents of a young child that had been left out alone. They help Beth get to a hospital where hundreds of sick patients rest, and she finds her brother alive, but injured. In the hospital, another happy thing occurs. The young couple, named Ryan and Lulu, find the parents of the child (who happens to speak no English). The insight into the character's personality I am given by the reaction of others is that Beth really is a strong girl. Without the level of fearlessness she has, the story would end differently.
Part C: Theme
8. The theme of the novel Wave is that life may not turn out the way you though it would, but it will turn out the way it is supposed to. This theme is evident in the novel in many cases. Beth and Sam's entire lives have been changed by a catastrophic event in which they lose both of their parents , and are forced to return to New York completely changed. Beth, being six years a senior to her brother fully understands how much things will be different when they go home, which is shown when she says, "...a funeral service for my mother and father, sell the house, and maybe take a semester off school..." (Walters 196). Things will most definitely not go back to normal, but Beth and Sam must find the strength within and lean on each other to get through this rough time. A less important case in which the theme is evident is that Beth was unable to join her family for their annual trip to Thailand for the Holidays. She was not expecting to spend Christmas in her dorm at university, but because of a big commitment, Beth has to do so anyway. Beth may regret having not joined her family on the trip, not being there to help when the tsunami hit. She may think that her parents would still be alive if she could help move them away from danger. Unfortunately this is not the way life works; all experiences are meant to happen so you grow as a person and understand how much you need to cherish even the little things, which Beth and Sam have now learned.
Part D: Double "R" Response
Stage 1: Relating The book Wave's main conflict, the tsunami that devastated Phuket, Thailand on Boxing Day 2004 reminded me of the 7.0 catastrophic magnitude earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010. Like the tsunami, many people lost their lives and the lives of loved ones. Some were literally lost, never returning home because they couldn't find home. So many lives were affected by these natural disasters. This tsunami also makes me think of the typhoon that recently occurred in the Phillipines where also many lives were changed forever. A co-worker of my moms' mother and brother had to evacuate their homes and were sent to camps where they have been forced to live since. The co-worker, Michelle, was not able to reach her family for days, and had no way of knowing if they were safe. What I found especially meaningful was when Beth's boyfriend, Tad, said, "...the worst thing is that they can't get through to you to let you know that they're okay." (106). Though Tad knows that Beth's family is probably lost, badly injured, or dead, he has to comfort her and make her feel that their really is hope for them, they just have not been able to contact Beth yet. It makes me feel that Beth is really lucky to have a person like Tad supporting her and comforting her no matter what. Even if he knows things aren't going so well, he will help her think of the best possible outcome.
Stage 2: Reflecting After reading this novel, I now understand that I am lucky to live in a country that is rarely affected by life-changing natural disasters. People in places such as Thailand and the Phillipines are worried every day that there could be a tsunami or earthquake that will forever change the way they live their lives. It is possible for them to wake up tomorrow and think that it will be their last day due to something like a typhoon. When I first finished the book, I wondered if Beth and Sam's mothers' disappearance could have been stopped if she did not have MS. Would she have been able to run away? Before the second wave that changed their fate, Sam says something that stuck with me for the rest of the novel: "If my mother had gone for that nap she would be dead." (85). I realize now that all of the decisions made by the Brooks family on that day caused the outcome that they did. If the family had decided to go shopping in town that day, they wouldn't be so close to where the wave hit the worst. Beth and Sam would still have a mom and dad to go home with. Maybe, like I said in the theme, this was how it was meant to be, so they could learn from their experiences. I was made aware that you can not take your family for granted, because they might be gone tomorrow. Hold on to every memory, because once they die, that is all you have left. Beth and Sam loved each other and their parents for the good, the bad, and everything in between, and that is what they will always remember.

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