The 5th Wave Essay
“There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.” (Lao Tzu) By underestimating an opponent, you leave yourself helpless towards any attacks and this is displayed in The 5th Wave. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is a book about a world that faces an alien invasion. During this invasion, the main character, Cassie, and the people around her such as Evan, Ben, and Sammy, see how the aliens decide to bring mankind to its demise. The aliens first started by shutting down all things that required electricity, then causing mass amounts of destruction, spreading disease, and disguising themselves as humans, which finally caused panic resulting in humanity killing their own kind thinking they are aliens. Throughout all of this, the author shares the idea that assuming the best in a situation might lead to the worst outcome. This is conveyed by people being easily deceived, them being unprepared, and the end result which was mass destruction throughout the world.
To begin, the theme is shown because people constantly believed others and were repeatedly deceived. From the beginning of the book, the characters and the other humans in the book try to stay optimistic which leads to them being deceived. When the aliens first attacked, the humans instantly trusted the first source of rescue since they believed that others would help, but that was not the case. Cassie and her family were one of the people that went to an army camp that promised help and protection. There the leader, Vosch, turned out to be evil and betrayed everyone at the camp. This can be seen when Cassie was hidden as she was eavesdropping on Vosch. “It was Vosch. He seemed even taller standing over the crumpled form of my father. Dad wasn’t moving. I don’t think he was playing dead…Vosch shot him anyway.” (Yancey, 90) In this quote, you can see that Vosch, supposedly the good guy in the situation, in reality is killing the people in camp. The camp that was suppose to help people stay safe and avoid death. In this quote you specifically see Vosch killing Cassie’s father, who at the moment is Cassie’s only family and company. This portion of the text also portrays that not only Cassie, but everyone that is in that camp made a huge mistake by trusting Vosch. By staying optimistic, they all walked into a trap that will eventually cause their death. They were all deceived and this resulted in one of the worst outcomes. In this camp, Cassie saw her brother Sammy getting sent away. Cassie also witnessed the death of one of her only remaining friends and, as shown in the quote, her father. Not only was Sammy sent away, all kids under the age of sixteen got sent sent to a “safer place” which means all of the families at this camp lost their kids since they fell into this trap. In other words, the optimism of these families led them into getting deceived, which resulted in them losing the lives of many innocent people.
In addition, the theme is also displayed by peo...